Tag Archives: Operant Conditioning

An Open Letter to Pet Industry Representatives Regarding the Use of Shock in Animal Training, Management and Care: We now know enough to stop shocking our pets

Shocking pet dogs remains a common, if controversial, training practice worldwide. In this open letter, Pet Professional Guild (PPG) combines decades of research, the opinions of certified animal behaviorists, and the question of ethics to explain why using electric shock … Continue reading

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Clicker Training for Cats (1/6)

By Paula Garber and Francine Miller Why train a cat? Why indeed. Myths about the trainability of cats abound: “Cats can’t be trained because they’re too independent.” “Cats are difficult to train because they are not food motivated.” “Cats don’t … Continue reading

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An Open Letter to County Commissioners re: Consumer Transparency – the Methods Used in Animal Training, Care and Management Will Protect Pets, Their Owners, Local Residents and the Public at Large

Introduction: The Importance of Transparency between Clients and Service Providers Frieden (2013) states that: “Free and open information empowers people to make informed choices and reduces the likelihood that misinformation or hidden information will endanger health.” It is not unusual and, … Continue reading

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An Open Letter To Pet Owners About The Pet Professional Guild’s Shock-Free Coalition

According to the American Pet Products Association (2017), 68 percent of Americans return home to a pet (or pets) each day.  An estimated 48 percent of US residents are dog owners while 38 percent share their home with a cat … Continue reading

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Putting More Tools in the Tool Kit

Recently I worked with an adolescent dog that I trained as a puppy. Like many adolescents he suddenly forgot several of his training skills and got stuck offering two behaviors in specific circumstances. When greeting people he climbed upon them … Continue reading

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Pet Professional Guild Releases Position Statement on Pet Correction Devices

Pet Professional Guild Press Release Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has released a new position statement on so-called “pet correction devices” that are used for the management, training and care of pets. PPG does not recommend such devices and the move … Continue reading

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But Every Dog is Different!

But every dog is different! This is another common argument against trainers who train without force. It usually goes like this: But every dog is different! You can’t just use a cookie cutter! But every dog is different! Why limit … Continue reading

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Force-Free: Are You Getting the Correct Message Across?

Recently I learned of a trainer whose specialty is working with hunting dogs. For the purpose of this blog I will call him Bob, mostly because I like that name, and I like the trainer. The majority of hunting dog … Continue reading

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Positive Is a Perception: Empathy to Understand the Perception of the Other

Two things happened to me recently that set me off thinking about positive reinforcement from the recipient’s perspective.  Firstly I read a very negative review of positive reinforcement training through a Facebook blog. The writer was suggesting that positive reinforcement … Continue reading

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Not All “Choices” Are Equal

Shout-outs to Companion Animal Psychology for the post, The Right to Walk Away” which covers the effects of offering that particular choice in animal experiments, and encourages us to apply the concept to our animals’ lives. Also to Yvette Van Veen for her … Continue reading

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