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Teaching with Reinforcement

A valuable resource open to everyone to learn and share

The Power of Training with Food

and the problem of training with food

More and more owners are turning towards methods that create motivation and build confidence. Classes that teach positive reinforcement methods are filling quickly. Beginner pet dog owners to more experienced trainers want enthusiastic learners with a library of behaviours built on trust and friendship.

To deal with the problem of food mugging there are a number of protocols designed around the misconception of teaching the dog “self” or “impulse” control. The dog is offered what it perceives as an opportunity to get food only to fail in its attempt. That failure is then reinforced with a click and food.

Is it best training practice to set our dogs up to fail in order to learn?

Living with Dogs

From the Every Dog Every Day book

Is your training clean?

a comprehensive check list to work through ….. 

When clicker training was enjoying its early wave of dispersal in the late 1990s, there were many different classes for clicker training. The training was often based on non-trainer techiniques (evolving from research projects on rats and pigeons) that lead to some recipes that did not include competent application of the methods.

At Learning About Dogs we held a range of courses to purposely develop clicker training skills. It was not easy to define what was a beginner’s class and what was more advanced. The CAP system was introduced as a clear curriculum of developing skills for any clicker trainer.

We no longer hold assessment days, video assessment or maintain a database of successful trainers. Today we are happy to publish the criteria for each of the three levels and recommend that you self-assess your own training skills.

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