We’re geeking out on the topic of dopamine in dog training and how it impacts a dog’s motivation.
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, and there’s a lot of research on its relation to the drive to seek
out happiness. Now, you might be wondering what it has to do with dog training but to make sure our
dogs want to work with us, it’s something we need to know, and it relates directly to my training
protocols and transfer of value.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • How and when dopamine gets released in a dog’s brain.
  • About an experiment by Robert Sapolsky on dopamine spikes with a cue, behaviour, and reward.
  • How a dopamine spike would relate to me and vegan chocolate chip cookies.
  • That dopamine relates to the transfer of value in dog training (the thing before the thing).
  • What the research shows about the difference between luring and shaping and dopamine.
  • About research on blocking dopamine and how it impacts motivation.
  • What a suppressed level of dopamine does and how that relates to dogs.
  • What I’ve noticed with my young dog This! and how I’m particular about her training.
  • About foods and supplements that support healthy dopamine production.
  • The effects of too much dopamine and what I observed with my dog Buzz.
  • How I give my dogs a calm walk once a week for a dopamine detox.
  • Why to look at your dog training to see if your dog is getting healthy dopamine spikes.