Category Archives: Reinforcement

Are You SURE Your Dog Prefers That Food Toy?

It just occurred to me that it is super easy to make assumptions about how much our dogs prefer a particular food toy, or even whether they really enjoy them that much. Don’t yell at me. To be clear: I use … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Enrichment, Food toys, Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Tossing Cookies: Delivering Treats and Toys in Dog Training

One thing I notice about experienced trainers is how well they can deliver food to dogs. Usually their hand motions are both fast and quiet, and the food goes just where they intend. This may sound like a minor issue, but it’s not. … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Food reinforcers, Treats | Tagged | 13 Comments

Peanut Butter Dog Treats With No Sticking! Another Silicone Pan Recipe

I posted in January about making hundreds of small treats at a time in a silicone pan. I had no idea how lucky I was that I hit on a recipe that worked so well the first time. You can check … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Food reinforcers, Treats | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

No More Cutting! Making 500 Non-Crumbly Dog Treats From a Mold

Best dog treat hack ever! Here’s how to make batches of more than 500 small treats at a time without having to cut them up.

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Posted in Dog training hints, Food reinforcers, Treats | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Latent Learning: The Original Definition

Latent learning has a precise definition in learning theory and it’s not what many people think. It’s not magic learning that happens during downtime–at least not in the way people assume. It is not a sudden better performance after a … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

If You’re Loving It, Why Leave?

Is “choice” a code word for negative reinforcement? It can be. Seems like that’s the context where I see it pop up the most.  I’ve written a lot about choice. Two of my major points are: Many people are confused … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement | 9 Comments

My Dog Refuses Food Away From Home!

  Don’t panic. This is a common problem and it often has a pretty clear path to a solution. Most important: you can still use positive reinforcement based training. It is not a dealbreaker! I write a lot about how … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Food reinforcers, Safety | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

The Joy of Training With Food

Thank you to Debbie Jacobs, who pointed out that many training videos do not include the moment the trainer feeds her dog, and that we need to see that.  Training your dog with food is not only effective. It’s also … Continue reading

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Posted in Enrichment, Food reinforcers, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Using Annoying or Scary Sounds for Dog Training

Let’s pretend you saw an ad for a new dog training product. It read something like this: Introducing the Noise-Aided Obedience Device (NOD)! Never have trouble with your dog again. When you jerk or flap the lead attached to your … Continue reading

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Posted in Negative Reinforcement, Punishment | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Spray With Caution!

When Kate LaSala told me about her dog’s experience with spray cheese, I knew I needed to share it. I mention spray cheese a lot, as a high value and easy-to-use food reinforcer for my dogs.  So it’s only right … Continue reading

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Posted in Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Fear, Food reinforcers, Guest post | Tagged | 19 Comments