Secrets of Dog Training Professionals - Operant Conditioning
Have you ever wondered how really good dog trainers come up with the techniques they use to solve behaviour problems in dogs such as excessive barking, destructive chewing, toileting in the house and jumping up on visitors? Or how top dog trainers come up with ways to train dogs in top obedience and working competitions? Apart from a few “naturals”, most really good dog trainers have a very good understanding of how dogs learn. They have adapted theory from the world of behavioural science and turned that knowledge into real-life practical skills for training dogs. This article explains in plain English some of the science and theory behind dog training, these really are secrets of the dog training professionals!
Operant Conditioning is the term that scientists use to describe what dog trainers call “training with consequences”. That is, any training that involves a consequence that either reinforces or punishes behavior. There are 4 possible consequence types used in Operant Conditioning, and 1 non-consequence. These are: