Video: To Praise Or Not To Praise A Dog?
I want to know a question that has been interesting to me for a long time. Is it true that a dog cannot be praised often? Some dog breeders say that if you praise the animal (for everything done correctly), then she will soon "respect" herself and will not react to affection. Others argue that petting a dog cannot be spoiled. The more you encourage, the better. Is it so?!
Julia BELYAKOVA, Barnaul
At the beginning of training, when the conditioned (i.e., acquired) reflex to the command is just being formed, the dog is always encouraged. To reinforce the required action, a delicacy, stroking, and sometimes a game are used. Further, unconditional reinforcement (delicacy, etc.) is associated with a conditioned signal - the command "good". This is necessary because it is not always possible to give a treat or pet the dog immediately after doing the right thing.
Better than Karen Pryor, author of the bestselling book Don't Roar at the Dog! you cannot say about the reinforcement mode, therefore I quote: “In order to maintain an already learned behavior at a certain level of reliability, not only does it not need to be reinforced all the time, but on the contrary, it is necessary to stop regular reinforcement and switch to episodic use of reinforcement given in a random and unpredictable order.
This is what psychologists call a variable reward regime. A variable regimen is much more effective at maintaining behavior than a constant, "predictable" regimen.
But there are techniques, after which the dog must be praised. For example, a selection of someone else's thing. In this case, the dog faces a rather difficult task, akin to solving a puzzle. And it is simply impossible to ignore the implementation of the technique, since the dog may simply refuse to work in the future.
And one more quote from the book "Psychology of the Dog" by L.F. Whitney; “The dog does not need reinforcement for every correct response, thanks to the fact that anticipation can also serve as reinforcement. This phenomenon is related to memory."
T. Lipatova, "Cat and Dog" newspaper