BEHAVIOUR TECHNIQUES WE USE for BOTH PEOPLE & DOGS

Dr. Ivan Pavlov
CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
During the 1890s, Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov was researching salivation in dogs in response to being fed. 
Pavlov predicted the dogs would salivate in response to the food placed in front of them.
He noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever they heard the footsteps of his assistant who was bringing them the food.
Pavlov discovered that any object or event which the dogs learned to associate with food (such as the lab assistant) would trigger the same response.
We use a form of Classical Conditioning when replacing one behaviour for another behaviour and/or association.
OPERANT CONDITIONING
Is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behaviour. Through operant conditioning, an individual makes an association between a particular behaviour and a consequence” (Skinner, 1938)
We prefer to use POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT of A REWARD BASED SYSTEM for both people & dogs as it has proven time and time to have the best results.
SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION
Is a type of behavioural therapy based on the principle of classical conditioning.
This therapy aims to remove the fear response of a phobia, and substitute a relaxation response to the conditional stimulus gradually using counter conditioning. 
This is how it is done:
  1. For a human we first teach a deep muscle relaxation technique and breathing exercises
    1. For a dog, we test the boundaries of its fears such as guarding, when is it happening and to what is it happening to.  Same as anxiety, when is it happening and what is causing it.
  2. Second, we create a fear hierarchy starting at stimuli that creates the least anxiety (fear) and building up in stages to the most fear provoking. 
    1. During this process for the human the relaxation techniques are practiced
    2. For a dog we start with an object that they do not fear or have an association with
  3. You and the dog is repeatedly confronted by this situation until it fails to evoke any anxiety at all, indicating that the therapy has been successful

SCHEDULE OF REINFORCEMENT

We use a variety of to deliver reinforcements to maximize the rate of learning

Continuous Reinforcement

Done at the beginning especially of treatment/training.
You and/or the dog is positively reinforced every time a specific behaviour occurs.

Fixed Ratio Reinforcement

Once the behaviour is “almost” dependant on a reinforcement, we move to a fixed ratio.
You and/or the dog is positively reinforced only after the behaviour has occurred a specified number of times. 

Variable Ratio Reinforcement

We move into the BEST of the REINFORCEMENTS.
Behaviour is reinforced after an unpredictable number of times. For examples gambling.

Fixed Interval Reinforcement

We have found this is not a great to “learn” a new “habit”.
One reinforcement is given after a fixed time interval providing at least one correct response has been made. An example is being paid by the hour.

Variable Interval Reinforcement

We have found this is not a great to “learn” a new “habit”.
Providing one correct response has been made, reinforcement is given after an unpredictable amount of time has passed. An example is a self-employed person being paid at unpredictable times.