Easy as ABC

Applied behavior analysis

Positive dog training is as easy as A-B-C. Science-based training focuses on these three events:

Antecedent – what happens before a behavior occurs
Behavior – the behavior displayed
Consequence – what happens after the behavior

Observing the “ABC’s” in dog training will greatly improve your chances of success. Many times people have no trouble seeing what behavior is being performed, but often the antecedent and consequence are forgotten. Developing great observation skills is crucial to changing a dog’s behavior.

If you are able to identify the antecedent to a behavior, you can change that behavior. Putting a behavior on stimulus control is an example of this in dog training. I recently heard of a dog trainer who was already teaching her new, baby Jack Russel Terrier to jump! Why would a JRT need to know how to jump? Well, if you teach a command for jump – you put the behavior to a word (the stimulus or antecedent). In the future, the dog will only jump on command because it will learn that jumping without the command means no reward.

If you have a dog that jumps when it isn’t supposed to, you can put that behavior on stimulus control. This way you aren’t saying “No”, you are saying “only when I ask” – just like any other behavior you might teach your dog.

Brilliant?    I think so!

Want to learn more about this idea? Check out this link: What is Stimulus Control?