Basic canine learning methods can be broken down into four distinct categories. While some have similarities and others great differences, they are all of great value and offer insight into how your dog thinks. Quite a few of these psychological theories are recent developments, many of which came about in the mid-20th century. To learn more about the fascinating history behind these theories, BestBullySticks suggests you check out last week’s post — A History of Dog Training.
Classical Conditioning: Just like the training methods of yesteryear, classical conditioning plays upon the same ideas used by Pavlov and Bailey. In its most basic form, this method of learning is based around the idea that a stimulus received over time will eventually become associated with another yet totally unrelated response.
For instance, a dog may be afraid of rain because of an association with thunderstorms. The same logic applies for when you get your dog riled up by looking their way and asking, “Walk?”
Over time, these associations can wear out if the motivating reward — such as a real walk! — is removed. Classical conditioning might also help build new associations as demonstrated by Bailey’s clicker method as well as overcome negative associations helping animals cope with new people and situations. read more…