If there is a Setter pic here, then this is a Setters only page

The Effect of Anticipation

When anticipation is conflicting with behaviour

first published July 2018

– outline

There are times when the stable behaviour that has been establish in conjunction with the anticipatory effect puts the dog in conflict.

Continuing with the stable behaviour that is followed with a complimentary reinforcer is going to continue to add strength to the behaviour.
But adaption of the behaviour may occur when in preparation of a contradictory reinforcer

Strong predatory behaviour

Author: KL

When a dog is in the stalk or closing predatory behaviour their responses are suited to anticipation of kill. In stalk, movement is slow, under a threshold to alert the prey. If the behaviour being trained is in conflict with this state anticipation of the predatory behaviours can have a slowing effect on the taught behaviour.

Teaching a dog to change between stand, sit, down in any order. If a ball is placed between the dog and the person, the anticipation of chasing the ball can induce a predatory stance making the dog’s movements slow down to the point of not being able to move.

Teaching relax with food

Author: KL

Teaching relaxing behaviours is often a high ranking demand and many attempts are made to teach this with a clicker and food. If the clicker has been conditioned to food and for that dog food is an arousing and exciting consequence then the click AND the food will put the dog in conflict with the behaviour of relaxing.

The result is a dog holding a posture of relaxation, for example lying on its side, but in an alert and aroused state.

Sleeping and resting would be in conflict if the reward was ball-games

Connect and Share

sounds like a biscuit …….


Comments made in this section are only on view to other Setters.


Setters are folk who have passion, experience, knowledge and dogs.
When people with the same passion get together learning explodes.

More than a comment?

If you would like to add more than a comment, links to videos, your own article etc, please contact us direct – use the Get In Touch at the bottom of the page


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get in touch

12 + 13 =

News on courses, articles and stuff you don't want to miss.