Counter Conditioning, Causal Relevance, and the Implications for Humane Dog Training

In 1972, Michael Domjam and Nancy Wilson tested an interesting hypothesis:  When creating a conditioned association between two events, do the types of events matter? To help illustrate this question more clearly, let’s take an example: You go out for dinner at a new restaurant. You eat a large meal consisting of salmon, and don’tContinue reading “Counter Conditioning, Causal Relevance, and the Implications for Humane Dog Training”

Cognitive Dissonance

I wish I could be a reward-only trainer. I don’t enjoy correcting dogs or putting any “pressure” on them. I love dogs. That’s why I chose this career. Unfortunately, because I specialize in helping dog owners to achieve success in real world situations, some amount of pressure/correction/punishment is often necessary. The reality is that evenContinue reading “Cognitive Dissonance”

Functional Obedience and the Development of Character.

“…Thorough obedience training does more than assure a dog’s response to his master’s command; capacities for learning and emotional stability could be increased and integrated as permanent qualities of character.” -William Koehler, 1962 For many years, I chose to leave the behavior of sit-stay out of my basic obedience programs, and give preference to teachingContinue reading “Functional Obedience and the Development of Character.”

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