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The Effect of Anticipation
Using the Anticipatory Effect
first published July 2018
Food delivery can vary and produce a reliable consequence of reinforcement and pleasure will be the anticipated effect on a hungry dog.
If food is always delivered as a short chase or a catch for that behaviour then preparation (the anticipation) of this predictable event will have a strong, and sometimes permanent effect, on the behaviour.
It is recommended that no specific delivery pattern of food is used in training unless a specific preparatory effect is desired. But a specific pattern can be used in performance situations and associated only with those conditions.
Untapped and unexplored
I have been surprised at how long and how intense this focus can be extended. The popular misunderstanding of “reinforcement within 3 seconds” of the click has limited growth in reinforcement training where the understanding of the effect of anticipation has been under-used.
It has been part of training since training of dogs began. Any dog that goes out hunting, whether for their own interests or channelled for human interest has worked or is searching under an anticipatory influence. This often begins with a low focus over several hours whilst seeking scent of prey and graduates to a more intense focus the closer the dog gets to the kill. The intensity of anticipation on the hunting behaviours ebbs and flows, with near success and re-acquiring the opportunities to kill.
This video (11 mins) was filmed at the Play Workshop nr Edinburgh. Cello is a 4 yr old Heelwork to Music participant. He finds maintaining focus and a high energy level for the four minute routine difficult.
I have never trained him before and he had never seen these toys before.
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sounds like a biscuit …….
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