Tag Archives: training errors

The Girl with the Paper Hat (Part 1 of 2)

Once upon a time there was a girl who decided to teach her dog some tricks. She figured out that if she gave her dog something he liked after he did something she liked, he was liable to do the … Continue reading

Posted in Cues, Dog training hints, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Summer Punches It

I have learned a lot in the last three months. Yes, that’s how long it has taken for me to get Summer’s target behavior where I really wanted it. Back in September I published a post about the many ways … Continue reading

Posted in Clicker, Cues, Dog training hints, Examples for Teachers, Positive Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

8 Common Dog Training Errors: Cautionary Tales

As the great trainer Bob Bailey says, training is simple but not easy. The principles are very simple and straightforward, but actually applying them in practice can be very difficult. I’ve mentioned many times that I am not a professional … Continue reading

Posted in Dog body language, Dog training hints, Dogs' perceptions, Generalization, Human and dog misunderstandings, Multiple dogs, Stress Signals | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

Using a Training Plan to Retrain Summer’s “Target”

In our last episode, I shared how I messed up Summer’s hand (and object) targeting behavior six ways from Sunday. Now I will share the process of retraining it. When you follow directions from a book, such as the Training … Continue reading

Posted in Clicker, Cues, Dog training hints, Examples for Teachers, Positive Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

6 Ways I Messed Up My Dog’s Targeting

Hand targeting is usually suggested as a great behavior for new clicker trainers since it is easy to get and easy to define criteria for. I guess I didn’t read the brochure carefully enough because I messed up hand targeting … Continue reading

Posted in Clicker, Cues, Dog training hints, Examples for Teachers, Positive Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

What You Reinforce is What You Get

Bob Bailey said, “What you click is what you get.” There is a lot of wisdom in this simple remark. Among other things, it emphasizes to me that we don’t always realize exactly what we are marking and reinforcing, but … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior analysis, Dog training hints, Fun, Reinforcement, Toys and Play | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Three Behaviors I’m Tempted to Punish, and Why I Don’t

Whoa there, friends. Don’t misquote me. Before I go any further, I want to clarify that I am talking about negative punishment. Negative punishment is the kind where you remove something the animal wants when they do an undesired behavior. … Continue reading

Posted in Dog training hints, Punishment, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

The Perils of Premature Premack

Sacrilege! Is it possible that in some cases, using the Premack principle in choosing reinforcement for our dogs is not the best choice? Can attempting Premack cause problems?* In my experience, yes. It can go wrong with some behaviors, with … Continue reading

Posted in Arousal, Dog body language, Operant conditioning, Premack Principle, Reinforcement | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

A New Resource, and our Rally Weekend

I have published a permanent page on my blog that collects all the posts and videos I have made that I have been told are useful for dog trainers to show their students. It can be accessed here: Video Examples … Continue reading

Posted in Cues, Discrimination, Dog training hints, Examples for Teachers, Human and dog misunderstandings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Superstition Ain’t the Way

Definition of a Superstitious Behavior: Accidentally or unintentionally reinforced behavior where a behavior is reinforced but the reinforcement occurred by random chance instead of in accordance with a specific contingency.   —From the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals glossary I wrote when … Continue reading

Posted in Clicker, Dog training hints, Operant conditioning | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments