Listen to Laura's podcast (available at the bottom of the page) to find out more about how operant conditioning can be used effectively to calm a toddler's temper tantrum.
Recently, I was chatting in the classroom with a few of our more experienced students. They mentioned encountering the following scenario quite often while exercising their dogs at a local park:
Individual is walking dog on leash. Dog sees other dog, barks, leash goes tight. Owner pulls dog back on leash, saying, "Be nice! Be nice!" and fumbling with a tight leash until the distraction has passed.
Sounds like a recipe for reactivity, right?
Here's an exercise anyone can try.
During the day, make a point of noticing something someone else is doing that you like—someone at work, someone at home, a stranger even. It need not be something unusual. It can be something you already expect them to do anyway.
My friend and colleague Lynn Loar is a social worker specializing in families at risk for child abuse. In one of her programs, she brings several families together weekly for an evening of clicker training, using naïve shelter dogs. The families also play the shaping game with each other—adults clicking and treating children, children clicking and treating grownups—during the course of the session.
ClickerExpo announces the 2009 season of its highly popular conference series for animal trainers at every level, from new dog owners to professional zookeepers. If you've ever wanted to know how trainers bond with orca whales, teach sea lions to play soccer, or train a dog to lie down quietly outside the local coffee shop while they sip a cup of java inside, then ClickerExpo is for you.