Thursday, June 15, 2017


Let's talk a little dog behavioral science shall we?

Environmental you know what they are? They are associations that exist between a dog's particular behavior and a consequence. Behavior is caused by and/or determined by environmental contingencies and circumstances. Associations can be adapted to either encourage or discourage certain behaviors. If you make them positive, you will have success. Suzanne Clothier says in her great book "If Bones Would Rain From the Sky" "In terms of our relationships with them, dogs believe that however it is we are acting, whatever it is we are doing is directly connected to that moment and to their own behavior in that moment.“

Behavioral contingencies....A behavioral contingency refers to the degree of correlation between the behavior and its consequence i.e. if I do this behavior, that is the consequence that will follow. The less time there is between the behavior and the consequence, the quicker and easier the dog can build that relationship. This is why I use a marker word. I use the word "yes". Many say "good" or use a clicker. Consequences should not include pain from devices such as shock collars, choke chains and pinch collars. Consequences should be humane.

Dogs are making associations at every turn, so pay attention to how you act/behave (environmental contingencies) and what you are reinforcing (behavioral contingencies)at any given moment. A dog's behavior is in the environment. Set your dog up for success. Make sure the consequences for behavior are timed correctly so that your dog will learn. Keep it safe, keep it positive and do no harm. Like Us on Facebook
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