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Why Positive Reinforcement?
Why Positive Reinforcement?

Earlier this month, we had the privilege of  being invited to do a lecture for a University of Toronto Introduction to Psychology for Ashley Waggoner Denton.  It is always an honour to be able to contribute to education and the scientific community; after all, where would dog trainers be today without the work of people like BF Skinner – who we have to thank for operant conditioning – and Ivan Pavlov and his dogs – who brought us classical conditioning?

operant-quadrants

Andre spoke to the class about Skinner and Pavlov, but also Keller Breland, one of the leaders in humane animal training, and Karen Pryor, founder of our alma mater and the woman who brought clicker training to dogs.  He also brought Petey, his senior beagle, to help him give visual demonstrations of the concepts that were being discussed.

Sit Pretty, Petey!
Sit Pretty, Petey!

Maybe it is just me, but it seemed like students in the lecture were more focused than I remember people being back in university… maybe the cute beagle had something to do with it!  He did get swarmed by adoring fans at the end of the lecture.  Hopefully the students enjoyed the class; maybe we have some future dog trainers in their midst!

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