More on the dreaded “No Reward Marker”

Here's the video that sparked this post!  Dogs at play and my commentary! Darwin, Cooper and Boudicca Sept 2013  This is great! If you don't watch anything but the last 1 minute or less, the opportunity is presented and it's set up during the video with my added commentary and my well-timed use of a …

Continue reading More on the dreaded “No Reward Marker”

Pointing Test Two Trials 10 Repetitions Each Boudicca April 24, 2013

                                    After reading A Virtual Pack, to Study Canine Minds i tested Boudicca, a 7 year old female Jack Russell terrier, using the easiest test demonstrated in the video [link provided in sources]. If you’re interested in conducting …

Continue reading Pointing Test Two Trials 10 Repetitions Each Boudicca April 24, 2013

Housetraining, using a signal indicating need to eliminate

Unsuccessful housetraining is a leading cause why dogs end up in shelters. House training is not an individual process, all dogs benefit from the same housetraining strategies. However, dogs may independently learn, depending on breed, size, early exposure to acceptable substrates and beginning at the breeding location. I am discussing training a new puppy, not training an adult dog with incomplete housetraining. However, the same strategies apply. If you have potty trained a child, you know, you need to be there during the early stages. Sometimes we are there to encourage, teach the location, patience and perhaps even model the behavior. During this process, the child had to learn to hold it or wait, at some point during the potty training.

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Why is positive reinforcement a better choice training dogs?

Attention is considered the most basic form of behavior and “both classical and instrumental elements closely cooperate” mediating effective “perception and action” (Lindsay, 2000). In a broader view, “attentional activities specify a dog’s intentions, reveal a dog’s motivational state” and sometimes define what he is prepared to learn, thus “attentional activities” are said to “reflect a dog’s overall disposition to learn” (Lindsay, 2000). How we stimulate and control dog’s attentional behavior can have profound effect on training and behavior modification. Lindsay (2000) says “dogs pay attention to occurrences that are significant to them and learn to ignore occurrences that are irrelevant” and stimuli associated with pleasurable events or those associated with fearful events gain the most attention than other irrelevant stimuli.

Why consider the use of Shock Collars (E-Stimulus, E-Touch) carefully

Why consider the use of Shock Collars (E-Stimulus, E-Touch) carefully This is a bit technical but brief overview on this issue. I will do my best to make it easy for everyone to understand. In the JVB (2007) Overall evaluated the molecular and cellular use of shock on the learning process. She suggested, "we may be changing other behaviors or processes” with these collars technically called E-Stimulus Devices. Overall (2007) uses what she describes as “a landmark study” by Schilder and van der Borg published in Applied Animal Behavior (2004). Schilder and van der Borg noticed dogs exhibiting more stress related behavior when using these types of devices. Stress related behavior continued with the control group, during free time in the handlers presence while at parks, when dogs should be relaxed. Stress behaviors and/or conflict resolution behaviors is extensively defined in recent dog literature.

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.