Glossary

Operant Conditioning:

A type of learning in which the behavior is determined by the consequences. A positive consequence to a behavior will increase the likelihood of the behavior being repeated while an undesirable consequence decreases the likelihood of the behavior being repeated.

A good example is teaching your dog to sit. Whenever your dog sits and he gets a treat, he begins to associate the consequence of his behavior: Hmm whenever she sees me sitting I get something yummy, maybe I'll try sitting every time I see her. The end result? Happy owner because your dog is no longer behaving like a jumping bean & a very happy dog because he gets something yummy!

Learning Theory:

A theory is an explanation of how things work hence learning theory is an account of how learning takes place.

Operant conditioning is a type of learning where the likelihood of a desirable response teaches an animal to repeat the behavior.

Your dog sits; he gets a treat. Your dog has learned how to sit because he learned the consequences of his behavior.

Classical Conditioning:

A basic form of learning in which stimuli initially incapable of evoking a reflex response acquire the ability to do so through repeated pairing with other stimuli that are able to elicit that response.

Pavlov's dogs:

Ivan P. Pavlov is the scientist who discovered, quite accidentally, that the dogs he was working with were learning to make associations with different stimuli that were theoretically not associated.

Pavlov was interested in how reflexes work and was studying salivary reflexes in dogs. He began to observe that as soon as the dogs were placed in the experimental environment they would salivate; when the person who actually bought the food to them appeared they salivated profusely. The dogs had learned to associate the room and food server with the food, and they responded as they would to the food itself.

Pet owners live with the result of classical conditioning every day. Do you have to call your dog when he/she hears the sound of the treat tin being opened?

Positive Reinforcement:

The addition of a desirable stimulus to the subject's environment following a behavior, causing an increase in the frequency of the behavior.

Your dog sat, he/she got something yummy. Something yummy = Positive reinforcement.

Sirius Puppy Training:

Sirius Puppy Training was created by Dr Ian Dunbar. Dr Dunbar revolutionized puppy training by daring to suggest that training should start prior to six months of age! Using developmental guidelines and emphasizing the importance of bite inhibition, early socialization, temperament training and dog friendly training, Dr Dunbar changed the world of pet dog training.

Dr Ian Dunbar:

Dr Dunbar, the creator of Sirius Puppy Training, received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College and a doctorate in Animal Behavior from The University of California. Dr Dunbar founded the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. He has written many excellent books on dog training & lectures all over the world. The world of dogs, owners & dog trainers owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr Dunbar for introducing compassionate, kind & effective pet training to us all.

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