Category Archives: Learning Theory

Blogs about the science of dog training

Spray Bottles Are for Houseplants, Not Cats

By Beth Adelman, MS It’s piece of bad advice that just won’t die: When your cat is misbehaving, squirt her with some water. Even some veterinarians still say it. What’s wrong with the spray bottle? Well, for starters, it doesn’t … Continue reading

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News Flash: Dogs Remember

Science has once again confirmed the obvious: Dogs can remember things. OK, maybe I am being a bit hard on the researchers. They were specifically interested in whether dogs have episodic memory. Well, they call it “episodic-like” memory, since some … Continue reading

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Practice? Liszt or Chopsticks

Years ago in another life I was a music teacher. In addition to class music lessons for many years, I also taught the piano and the flute. What’s this got do do with dogs, you might ask. My pupils’ results showed I … Continue reading

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Total Recall

I suspect most dog owners wish their dogs could be off leash and enjoy themselves without restriction, or at least be free of the leash in most situations. In that ideal world a dog could assuredly be called back on … Continue reading

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Toads, Snakes, Spiders and Chocolate!

Did you know that an encounter with a toad could have devastating consequences? During a recent class I was teaching, one of the students said that her training buddy and his friends had found a large toad in their yard.  … Continue reading

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Sticks and Stones…

..may break my bones, but words will never harm me” This, or one of its variations, is a childhood phrase that most of us are familiar with. We know that physical violence hurts and, as is suggested by the rhyme, … Continue reading

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A Bit on the Nose

When you’re teaching people to use luring, it can be hard for them to actually find their dog’s nose. And then it can be hard for them to put that tasty treat that they’re using to lure the behaviour right up close to the … Continue reading

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Laughter and Learning at the PPGBI Mini-Summit

The PPGBI Mini Educational Summit, which took place in early September at the Leeds Mercure Parkway hotel in Yorkshire, England, was a roaring success. Much fun was had on the first night as the attendees started to gather, register and … Continue reading

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Beware of the Behavior Chain

Isn’t it frustrating, we try to train our dog to not jump up but it gets worse? It is the ‘behavior chain syndrome’. We train behavior chains all the time, sometimes on purpose and sometimes by mistake. Behaviour chains can … Continue reading

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That Tickles!

Many, many years ago I enrolled in what seemed like a fun weekend workshop with my dog. The ad read, “No limits to learning” or something similar, so of course, I jumped at the chance to attend with my dog. … Continue reading

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