The ABC’s of Learning Applied in Dog Training

Behavior is the result of learning, comes under the influence of genetics, biology and physiological constraints, and is subject to one’s motivational state. The subject of this essay is to illustrate how understanding and manipulating antecedent stimuli affects training new behavior and modifying or changing existing behavior. The answer lies in the reinforcement history for any given behavior.

Choice Behavior

“Choice responding refers to the manner in which individuals allocate their time or responding among available response options” (Fisher & Mazur, 1997). Everyday life presents choices with many of us giving little thought to how those choices influences our present and future behavior. Understanding how those choices are derived may be important in solving behavior problems and training situations. A choice made between behavioral responses has been greatly influenced by previous reinforcement history and one’s personal preferences.