What’s a Functional Assessment in Dog Training? (And Why You Should Care)

A lot of dog training advice you get on the Internet won’t help. Pretty strange comment coming from a dog blogger who frequently writes about training, right? But even if people recommend a humane, positive reinforcement-based approach, something is missing that can’t be done in a typical online discussion. That’s the functional assessment. A functional assessment, or functional behavioral assessment, […]

Read more

Scent Tracking as Part of Your ABC

When consulting on canine behavior problems, you will be looking at your ABCs – Antecedent – Behaviour – Consequence – as part of your functional assessment. The immediate antecedents, such as direct environment, setting the dog off doing something the owner is not happy with, are often fairly easy to spot, although sometimes challenging to address. There are excellent protocols developed […]

Read more

The “Choice” Challenge

Thanks to Debbie Jacobs and Randi Rossman for their input on this topic. Any weird conclusions are mine alone. I have come to believe that most of us who thought we were using “choice” as a reinforcer were mistaken. Wait! Before you come running after me with pitchforks, let me explain. I’m not saying that choice isn’t a wonderful, enriching, and humane thing to […]

Read more