Do you have superstitious behavior like wearing a lucky shirt or lucky socks? Dogs can have superstitious behaviors too, and often, we contribute! We don’t want inadvertent or cheap behaviors to become part of what our dogs learn, so I’m covering what to look for and what you can do to avoid reinforcing superstition unintentionally. We’re also looking at why you need to beware of the killer bees in dog training!

In the episode you'll hear:

  • How B. F. Skinner described superstitious behavior back in the 1940’s when working with pigeons.
  • That my mentor Bob Bailey used the term cheap behavior and what that looks like for dogs.
  • How my husband, John, had a superstitious behaviour at traffic lights.
  • The ways dogs can develop superstitious behaviors in daily life and dog sports.
  • How cheap behaviors like vocalizing, pawing, spinning, foot paddling, nipping, and the killer bees like biting, bopping, bouncing, boxing and more can be built into our training or routines.
  • About preventing cheap behavior or superstition in your dog training and why to look at reinforcement.
  • That reinforcement can be more complex than what you think you are rewarding.
  • How some behaviors can be because the dog is overwhelmed or over faced in training and why to look at your dog’s success percentage.
  • Why to work out your dog’s rate of reinforcement and how that can vary depending on what you are training.
  • About the importance of a training plan that will set you and your dog up for success.
  • How to help your dog with something like barking in the crate if that is superstitious.