In this episode, I’ll talk about natural transitional rewards. Many may not have heard the term, but a lot of you may have used them in the training of your dog whether you realize it or not. If you want to do a real dive into the behavioral part of training, I encourage you to listen to my two episodes on conditioning – Session 73: Skinner’s Four Quadrants Part One, and Session 74: Skinner’s Four Quadrants Part Two.
I’ll talk about the conditioning baked into every day interactions with your dog (like the feeding ritual). The same thing goes for when we are preparing for a walk. Those rituals can be a good thing, but it’s more than the obedience skill you’re teaching – it’s the nervous system state that is occurring during that sit/stay and from the moment that you give the command to “break free” or say “all done”. I’ll describe how those commands and practices get embedded in their head, and how that fixation needs to be inhibited in certain instances.