Behavior and Training · Clicker Training · dog-human relationship · Operant Conditioning · Science

Reward-Based Training and Relationship

Trainers who use reward-based training methods (aka positive reinforcement training) often expound about its benefits to dogs and likewise caution about potential risks associated with punishment-based training. Although not extensive, there are a few studies that support the behavioral and emotional benefits of reward-based training and several others showing that the use of aversive stimuli… Continue reading Reward-Based Training and Relationship

Behavior and Training · Canine Cognition · dog-human relationship · Science

The Emotional Life of Puppy Stanley

I am happy to introduce the newest member of the Case family. Meet Stanley (aka Stan the Man, Stanley Manley, Stanley Pants). Mike and I love having a new puppy in the house (lack of sleep and reduced writing time aside). One of the many things that we enjoy is sharing a new puppy's excitement… Continue reading The Emotional Life of Puppy Stanley

Behavior and Training · Behavior Assessments · Canine Cognition

Science Says: “Nose Work is Good for Your Dog!”

We started training nose work games with our dogs about 8 years ago. One of the many neat things about this activity is observing the different search styles of each dog. For example, Chippy, our Toller, was very focused and methodical. He stopped and thoroughly sniffed each box before moving on to the next, finally… Continue reading Science Says: “Nose Work is Good for Your Dog!”

Behavior and Training · Clicker Training · dog books · dog-human relationship · Operant Conditioning · Recommended Websites, Studies and Authors · Science

Choosing Kindly – An Excerpt

This week's Science Dog essay is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of  "Dog Smart: Evidence-based Training with The Science Dog". I introduced the previous chapter with a story about starting each orientation class at AutumnGold with a version of the training game. While I emphasized that our students are usually impressed by these demonstrations and… Continue reading Choosing Kindly – An Excerpt

Behavior and Training · Canine Cognition · Clicker Training · dog books · dog-human relationship · Operant Conditioning · Recommended Websites, Studies and Authors · Science

Becoming Dog Smart

This week's blog is an excerpt from Linda Case's newest Science Dog book, "Dog Smart: Evidence-based Training with The Science Dog." I grew up in an animal-loving family. As a young child, I had an auspicious start to pet ownership with Beany the Bird, a parakeet who I trained to fly from his cage to land… Continue reading Becoming Dog Smart

Behavior and Training · Clicker Training · dog-human relationship · Operant Conditioning · Science

Why We Click

There is no longer any doubt. Clicker training is here to stay. More and more animal trainers are using it. Although I work with dogs, not dinosaurs, I too am a dedicated clicker trainer, as are most of the instructors who teach for me at AutumnGold. However, while the theoretical underpinnings of clicker training are… Continue reading Why We Click

Behavior and Training · Canine Cognition · dog-human relationship · Operant Conditioning

Just Show Me A Sign

Like many dog trainers, I use both verbal and gestural (hand) signals as cues with my dogs. With our students at AutumnGold, we introduce both verbal and physical cues at the same time, but generally emphasize verbal signals because this is what most pet owners prefer to use with their dogs. All of our classes include instructions for fading gestural cues in favor of  verbal… Continue reading Just Show Me A Sign

Behavior and Training · Clicker Training · Operant Conditioning · Science

The Meaning of Click

Hi. My name is Linda and I am a clicker trainer. In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that I have been using a clicker for many years. My use began with the common gateway secondary reinforcer, the verbal cue ("Yes!"). While that worked well for a while, I eventually found that I needed more. I wanted a marker that… Continue reading The Meaning of Click

Behavior and Training · Canine Cognition · Clicker Training · dog-human relationship · Science

Manners Minder and Me

In the previous essay, "Doggie See, Doggie Do?"  I discussed research showing that dogs may be capable of learning new tasks simply by observing another dog being trained. I mentioned that when I work with my own dogs, I rotate among them by training each dog to perform a down/stay on the pause tables located on the side of our training… Continue reading Manners Minder and Me

Behavior and Training · Dog Breeds · Exercise · Science

And Your Little Dog Too……

Little dogs often get a bad rap. People who dislike small dogs say that are yappy, hyper-excitable, nippy (reactive), untrained, and often spoiled (whatever that means) . Indeed, it appears that  even the Wicked Witch of the West had it in for the wee ones. So, are any of these beliefs true? Are little dogs truly as bratty as some would have us believe? And,… Continue reading And Your Little Dog Too……

Behavior and Training · Clicker Training · Science · Scientific Method · The Steve Series

What the Dog’s Nose Knows

In "Thyroid on Trial" we used an evidence pyramid to examine the various types of scientific studies that have been used to examine the hypothesis that there is a connection between hypothyroidism and aggressive behavior in dogs. We followed this example up through most of the levels of the pyramid, finishing at the penultimate level, the randomized, controlled trial. At the tippy… Continue reading What the Dog’s Nose Knows

Behavior and Training · Operant Conditioning

The Consequences of Consequences

Operant learning is all about consequences. Most trainers and behaviorists are well-versed in the uses of pleasant and aversive stimuli as dog training consequences. These can be constructed into a 2 x 2 matrix that includes the type of stimulus (desirable/pleasant or aversive/unpleasant) as one factor and the intended behavioral change (increase or decrease response frequency) as the second factor… Continue reading The Consequences of Consequences

Behavior and Training · Operant Conditioning · Science

The Ben Franklin Effect

Benjamin Franklin was a pretty amazing guy. The quintessential Renaissance Man, he was a scientist, inventor, author, musician, scholar, business man and politician. There are many popular stories and quotes from Franklin's life, but one in particular demonstrates his astute understanding of human behavior. In fact, this story became so well-known that it eventually led to what  is now… Continue reading The Ben Franklin Effect

Behavior and Training · Clicker Training · Operant Conditioning

Deconstructing the Click

I am a clicker trainer. All of my own dogs are clicker trained and many of the classes that we teach at my training school, AutumnGold are "clicker-centric". Clicker training is not only a scientifically sound approach to teaching dogs new things, but is also a kind, enjoyable, and bond-strengthening method of training - something that benefits both dogs and their people. 7-MONTH-OLD SIMON LEARNS EYE… Continue reading Deconstructing the Click

Behavior and Training · Operant Conditioning

The Quiz

 Imagine that you have enrolled in a college math course. You have been attending lectures for several weeks and although the material is quite difficult, you feel that the instructor has been explaining the concepts very clearly and that you have been able to learn a great deal from his lectures. You have completed and… Continue reading The Quiz