Concepts and Terms RSS feed for this section

In this section, you’ll find articles about important concepts and terms related to the science of animal training and animal behavior. If you’re new to positive animal training, I recommend starting with the articles in my Top Posts section.


Do you really need a clicker?

A clicker can be used as a “conditioned reinforcer.” You may also hear dog trainers, horse trainers, or other animal trainers refer to the clicker as a marker signal, bridging stimulus, or secondary reinforcer. When the animal does the correct behavior, the trainer clicks the clicker and then follows the click with something the animal […]

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how punishment can make things worse

I’ve been getting ready for our next animal training and behavior analysis science camp, which is happening this weekend. I’m looking forward to spending three days with Alexandra Kurland, Dr. Michaela Hempen, Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Anita Schnee, and what I know will be a wonderful group of attendees.  I’ll be giving a presentation about the […]

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A few thoughts about schedules of reinforcement

I got an email reminder yesterday about this weekend’s Equiosity webinar. This reminded me that I still hadn’t posted my thoughts from the March webinar!  For the March webinar, Alexandra Kurland and Dominique Day invited Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz to join them for a discussion about schedules of reinforcement. This can often be a rather dry topic, […]

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Musing about movement cycles

Recently, my friend Cindy sent me a great video from agility dog trainer Susan Garrett. The video shows Susan shaping two of her dogs to jump on a cooler. Both dogs are eight-year-old border collies owned by Susan. Both dogs are pretty smart pups with an extensive history of training. However, the second dog learns […]

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