CEU Event: Positive Reinforcement: Beyond Food

When: Ongoing
Where: Online


CPDT-KSA Knowledge: 2.50 CBCC-KSA Knowledge: 0.00
CPDT-KSA Skills: 0.00 CBCC-KSA Skills: 0.00


To use positive reinforcement effectively, a trainer must thoroughly understand what reinforcement means. Too often, we equate positive reinforcement with a piece of food. While this works in many cases, it is useless when a dog is too full, frightened, or aroused to eat. Food is also a somewhat contrived reinforcement; our clients don’t typically wear bait bags around the house. Many trainers talk about “life rewards,” those everyday goodies such as the opportunity to go outside, to sniff a tree, or to greet an approaching dog, that can be used to reinforce desired behaviors in the dog. This approach is similar to the Premack Principle, named after animal-learning researcher David Premack, but doesn’t fully take advantage of his important concept. Premack said much more than “If you eat your vegetables, you can have dessert” (a paraphrase of his principle commonly used in the dog-training community). Learn how Premack’s laboratory-derived theory can help you and your clients expand your dogs’ motivational menus. Discover novel techniques you can use to tap into the full power of positive-reinforcement training. In addition, we’ll explore another method for creating a broader array of positive reinforcers, this time derived from the revolutionary research of Ivan Pavlov. His studies of conditioned responses provide trainers and other behavior professionals with clear procedures for developing a variety of secondary reinforcers. It’s all too easy to overlook the power this process gives us to develop even more options for reinforcement. We’ll review the practical details of how to make the most of this technique while avoiding errors. Throughout the presentation, we’ll examine real-life training applications of these two scientific principles. You’ll be inspired to think about positive reinforcement more creatively and to spend time developing more reinforcers for the dogs you work with – perhaps including your own!

Sponsor:Animal Behavior Associates
Speaker(s):Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Dan Estep, Ph.D., CAAB and Kathy Sdao, Associate Applied Animal Behav

Contact: Tracey
 Email: info@animalbehaviorassociates.com
 Phone: 303-932-9095
 Web: http://www.behavioreducationnetwork.com/