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Have you ever watched a really well-trained dog, like a police dog, world champion agility dog, or service dog, and noticed that they seem to be working without getting any food or toy reward from their handler? You might have tried the same with your dog, but your dog said, “no reward, no thanks!”. We’re looking at why some dogs appear to work brilliantly with no reinforcement.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • The confusion out there about how reinforcement works.
  • How elite dog trainers use reinforcement.
  • Why the work can become massively valuable for dogs.
  • About stacking reinforcement.
  • The 5 categories of reinforcement that I use.
  • How attention can be a reward.
  • About the obvious reinforcers like food or toys.
  • Why the cues your dog knows can be powerful reinforcers.
  • How activities can be reinforcing.
  • Why rewarding activities need to have permission.
  • What a transactional relationship is and how it relates to dogs.
  • Why we want a partnership with our dogs.
  • The inadvertent reinforcement you might be giving your dog.
  • How all dogs have a hierarchy of reinforcement.
  • Why a partnership with us becomes intrinsically reinforcing for dogs

Resources:

Episode Transcript