Reward Based Systems


For information on operant conditioning and the definitions involved in positive reinforcement, visit Lecture 2 and the corresponding notes.


-Benefits of R+: initiating behavior, bridging, remote rewarding, feedback from dog

-Secondary benefits: flexibility, low risk, handler timing, relationship building, work ethic


-Marker System: a communication method used to signal to the dog when he is doing something correctly and rewarding it (i.e. a clicker, “yes,” “good,” “get it”); can be terminal or continual


-Shaping: training using successive approximations (i.e. building a behavior through small steps)

-Problem solving

-Capturing: takes advantage of a naturally occurring behavior and puts it on cue (shaking off)

-Luring: using food as a physical prompt to guide the dog into various desired positions/motions (i.e. following something)


-Targeting: teaching a dog to touch something with its nose (i.e. your hand). Once the target is established, you can move the target to various places to achieve different positions/motions. (combination of shaping and luring)


-Prompting: a touch pad to create another behavior, such as flipping into heel

-May have used shaping for the touch pad, but the touch pad itself is a prompt


-Some overlap in all methods; don’t get hung up on one because there are pros and cons to all. Experiment with which one is most helpful for each behavior


-Reward placement