Does Your Animal Have Control?

By Karolina Westlund Ph.D. of PPG corporate partner Illis Animal Behaviour Consulting Many animal trainers, veterinarians and pet owners highlight the importance of controlling animals. Controlling them, as in restricting the animals’ movement, their choices and their opportunities to control their environment through their behaviour. Sometimes you have to, for safety reasons. Obviously. But often you don’t – and more often than you might […]

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Herrnstein’s Matching Law and Reinforcement Schedules

When we bake cookies, some reinforcement is on a variable interval schedule. Have you heard trainers talking about the matching law? This post covers a bit of its history and the nuts and bolts of what it is about. I am providing this rather technical article because I want something to link to in some other written pieces about how the matching law […]

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A Quadrant by Any Other Name is Still a Cornerstone of Operant Learning

This 2003 edition book is $4.89 on Amazon. Contents: priceless. There is a science that deals directly with how organisms learn and how to use that information to change the environment in order to change behavior. It’s called applied behavior analysis (ABA). It is the applied version of behavior analysis, which was referred to as the experimental analysis of behavior […]

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Which Pavlov Is on Your Shoulder?

The trainer Bob Bailey is often quoted as saying that when one is training an animal, “Pavlov is on your shoulder.” He is reminding us that while we are training operant behaviors (sit, down, fetch, weave), there are also respondent behaviors and respondent conditioning occurring. Respondent behaviors are behaviors that are generally involuntary and that include reflexes, internal surges of […]

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Training Your Cat to Sit on Cue

By Jennifer Van Valkenburg I actually came to cat training completely by accident. My kitty was overweight and unhealthy so her vet recommended an entirely new lifestyle. This came with adding exercise (I remember thinking, how do you exercise a cat? – more on that later) and a new food regimen. No more leaving a pile of food in her […]

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Why Your Dog Doesn’t Know Sit

By Yvette Van Veen When I was a young girl, my grandmother would send gifts of books from Czechoslovakia.  The books were filled with stunning moving pop-up illustrations.  I learned a lot from those books.  I learned how those illustrations popped up.  I learned how one moving part operated another moving part.  What I failed to learn was how to […]

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Reaching the Holy Grail of Training

 By Yvette Van Veen Years ago, I taught our Kiki a formal recall using targeting.  Systematically I proceeded to work through the exercise.  Much to my delight, Kiki developed the most fantastic competition recall.  People gasped at her speed and enthusiasm.  Her formal recall never failed us over the years.  You could say that it had behavioural momentum. Domjan, in […]

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