Respondent conditioning is the same thing as Pavlovian Conditioning.
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Ivan Pavlov described respondent conditioning in 1927. Respondent conditioning occurs when you pair a neutral stimulus like salivation to a unconditioned stimulus to become a conditioned stimulus. Pavlov found that by ringing a bell in the presence of food, the dog would start salivating at the sound of the bell.
A well trained dog doesn’t happen overnight. Stick with it and make training continuous.
You can gradually cut down on the use of reinforcers and just use praise as long as you have been using praise along with the reinforce. Remember praise is hard to understand. A pat on the head is okay, it is better than nothing, but dogs really respond to 3 solid minutes of praise with a high pitched squeaky voice. I am not sure why that works, but it does. That is what we use when we train dogs for searches and any other form of work.
One word commands are better than using multiple words.
Dogs respond to visual signals as well as verbal signals and it is easy for the dog to get confused. Use of either must be specific. If you train your dog to stay with the command “stay” and you also use a hand signal, be careful of not using a different hand motion when you give that verbal command. Keep training simple and consistent.
Dogs should be trained in a variety of different settings to promote stimulus generalization, around different people, in different places and with different distractions. Don’t set the dog up for failure, so always increase the training in small steps.