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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

How science is revolutionizing the world of dog training

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DOG? It took me about a month to raise a new border collie, Alsea, when I realized something embarrassing: my dog ​​had yet to meet someone who looked nothing like me.

I’ve read a number of books on dog parenting, and they all agree on at least one thing: proper socialization with a puppy, especially during the 8 to 20 week critical period, has which means recommending it to as many people as possible. Not just people, but different people: people with beards and sunglasses; people wearing felt hats and sombreros; runner; people in Halloween costumes. And, critically, people of different ethnicities. Failing to do this, your dog may inexplicably bark at people wearing straw hats or large sunglasses.

This emphasis on socialization is an important element of a new approach to modern dog breeding


It moves away from the old, dominant, Cesar Millan-style methods, which are based on flawed studies of hypothetical hierarchies in wolves. Those methods made sense when I raised my last dog, Chica, in the early years. I read the classic books on the dominance of famous New York coaches, The Monks of New Skete, among others, to teach her that I was the leader of her herd. , even if it means harsh corrections, like catching her by the nape of the neck. . Chica is a good dog, but she gets frustrated easily when I teach her something new.

I’m not saying I don’t have a better choice; then there was a growing movement to teach dog owners about early socialization and the value of reward-based training, and many trainers used only positive reinforcement. But in those days, the approach was the subject of debate and derision: well-trained aspirants could do what you wanted if they knew a cookie was hidden in the palm of your hand. you, but they will ignore you. I am proud to have taught my dog ​​tough love.

This time, with the help of a new class of trainers and scientists, I completely changed my approach and I was shocked to discover the line of puzzle products, amusement toys, Modern “enrichment Dogs” workshops and resources are exploding. “parent” Dogs, have helped propel the U.S. pet industry to $86 billion in annual sales. Choking necklaces, shock necklaces, even words are not wordy. It’s a new day in Dog Training.

The science based on these new techniques is not entirely new:

It is rooted in learning theory and operant conditioning, which is related to positivity
e (add in) or negate (withdraw) reinforce. It also includes the plane:
positive or negative punishment. Brief summary: Stroking a dog’s head for a newspaper
is positive reinforcement, because you are taking an (positive) action to encourage (reinforce)
a behavior. Yelling at a dog to stop an unwanted behavior is a positive punishment, because it is an action.
to prevent a behavior. A choke collar whose tension is released when the dog stops pulling it is a negative reinforcement

, because the desired behavior of the dog (backward) leads to the elimination of an undesirable consequence. Taken away from a dog
frisbee because he barks it is negative punishment, because you withdrew a stimulus
to reduce an undesired behavior.


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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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