When used strategically, positive reinforcement provides a way to communicate with a learner. In a good relationship communication never stops. By reinforcing we talk to the dog and simultaneously we learn to listen. Understanding the reinforcement process can improve the relationship between humans and dogs. If we have knowledge of the way dogs learn we can build mutual understanding. Since reinforcement fluctuates the value, it is very important to know what is reinforcing for our learner in this particular moment. Because reinforcement is a dynamic process it changes quickly and in one-moment chicken treats are the highest value and the best reinforcement, a few minutes later they become much less important than a ball. If we understand the science behind behavior we are more likely to understand our learners. We will be less prone to label our learners and more willing to communicate with them using appropriate tools.
In this course we focus on: