Friday Fun: Training for Generalization (video)

Here's a fun video that I ran across earlier in the week.

The dog in the video, Tara, had previously learned to blow bubbles in a small bowl of water while inside. Now, it's time to practice the behavior in a completely new location — outside! In addition, another big thing has changed, instead of blowing bubbles in a bowl, the dog is blowing bubbles in a lake.

Although this seems like the same behavior of blowing bubbles, environmental changes can make a big difference during training. An animal uses aspects of the environment as cues for how and when to do certain behaviors. If a trainer makes big (or sometimes even small) environmental changes, an animal might not recognize the trainer's cues or perform the behavior in the same way at first. This is why it is SO important to practice each behavior in a variety of settings and situations.

I thought for sure that I had written a blog post in the past about generalization, but after a bit of searching, I don't think I have! I found this blog post about Boomer's adventures with trailer loading training, which relates to generalization, but I'm surprised I haven't posted more in the past about generalization. Since generalization is such an important concept in animal training and clicker training, I'm definitely going to add a general post about generalization to my list for future blog posts.

Watch on YouTube: Blow Bubbles Outside!


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