What if I were to tell you that your dog’s worst behavior could very likely be there because you have been unintentionally reinforcing it? It might be your dog jumping on guests, barking, getting on the furniture, counter surfing, not wanting to leave the park, lunging, not bringing back a ball. All of these frustrations and many others are things you could be accidentally rewarding your dog for doing. How does this happen? It’s got everything to do with behavior chains.
In the episode you'll hear:
- How to recognize a behavior chain and how they work.
- About the reinforcement of social attention for dogs.
- How your words can be associated with rewards.
- About your dog and patterns of reinforcement.
- How your dog learns “gotta be bad to be good”.
- Why your dog doesn't want to leave the park.
- The ways to fix your inadvertent behavior chains.
- How important reinforcement is and why treats are just one form.
- The example of a simple behavior being turned into a chain with repeated cues.
- How to set up your dog for success.
- About rehearsing the correct end of a behavior chain.
- Podcast Episode 2: Reinforcement
- Podcast Episode 33: How Do I Stop My Dog Counter Surfing?!
- Podcast Episode 19: One of My Biggest Pet Peeves in Dog Training
- Podcast Episode 29: Understanding and Preventing Reactivity and Aggression in Your Dog
- Podcast Episode 39: Is a Resistant Dog a Stubborn Dog?
- Podcast Episode 40: Using a Head Halter on a Dog, Why My Approach is so Different
- Home School the Dog
Hi Susan, I have three welsh corgis and a lab. The corgis drive me crazy. I get up, they think we are going out. bark, bark, bark. I walk into the study, they do the same thing because there is a door to the outside. I can’t make a move without them barking if it indicates going out. I know I reinforced this behavior. I have tried sitting back down, turning my back, and ignoring them, I treat when quiet. But, I think they are chaining all that. Gail
Understanding the behavior chain was such a big eye opener for me. It changes everything!
Such a great podcast. My dog barks when I’m in a room a little far away. I know I’ve reinforced it by saying quiet, but I also tell him good dog when he does have a period of quiet. Not sure how to apply this to this situation. Thanks!
I have watched this podcast a couple times now. Because I’m puppy school they taught to use cue words, how do I back out of it? I use the off,
And leave it and call Agee times and sometimes she comesSometimeShe doesn’t —especially when she chases a squirrel. So you advice is brilliant but my question is how in the world do I bring it life with my pup. A 2 year old chocolate lab.
Hi Susan, this was amazing teaching and learning for me. Definitely all made so much sense. You mentioned to interrupt the unwanted behaviour by quietly collar grabbing and walking dog to hotzone.
What is your suggestion if I am unable to collar grab as my boy will run away due to being in an over aroused state. He barks at me and my other dog to run as he wants to chase us.
This could be one of my favourite podcasts.
My dog runs between windows when she sees (thinks she sees or hears) something that revves her up, like a cat. Have tried to close the path between windows with gates and close curtains. She often gets more revved when I do this, She starts whining, barking, wants to ether get to the other window or better still – go outside. When this happens I usually crate her. Usually after second grating she has calmed down. This has been going since I adopted her (5 months). I now wonder if crating should be last resort and I somehow need to redirect her to something more interesting than the CAT but Cats are near/at the top of what sends her into orbit.
I think I have inadvertently reinforced what I don’t want. Any tip for how to reverse/stop this now well established behaviour that I do not want?
Great podcast by the way Susan, thankyou.
When my dogs hear the mail person coming, – who rides a motor skooter, they literally go nuts. The reason being she or he gives them a biscuit. Now it has become a “learned behaviour”. I have removed them from this scenario and do not let them outside in the front garden until the mail person has gone completely. My solution is to scatter feed to distract them in the back garden. Comments very welcome. If I allow them to be in the front garden again they will just rehearse the “bad” Behaviour.
I don’t know what else to do at this stage.
Hi Susan, Yesterday for the first time since I adopted my dog, we had a masked visitor( he is used to seeing us wearing masks) come in the house. I kept giving Ollie cookies to associate people with good things; however, this did not keep him from barking. He got calmer about 10 min. later. Even then, he would give a bark every once in a while. Now I realized I could have sent him to his crate when the man arrived, but he still would have barked. My question is : How can I make being quiet more attractive than barking? Thanks
ps This morning he looked out the window and kept barking at the visitors parked RV!
He sure is a great watchdog 🙂
As usual you’ve provided so many helpful tips.
I got a great deal out of all the info on “recallers” but following up with your Podcasts is crucial. Thank you so much.
An interesting approach to corrrecting behaviour. Thanks. When playing fetch, how do you rehearse the end ie. Dog bringing ball back? Mine (kelpie cross) either runs away with it, drops it partway or otherside of yard or sometimes completely ignores it (runs up to or around it but doesn’t pick it up) even though she’s biting at the bit to be released. I’m a member of recallers but only up to game day 20 due to long working hours.
So true. Thank you so much