Here’s a session with Judy & Trick.  Judy’s using a placemat as a target and her goal is to teach trick to lie down and flop over on his side.  As you can see, he is getting the idea that staying on the mat pays off and that lying down works well.

Judy is shaping (reinforcing those small actions that will lead to the ultimate goal).  Trick has become very operant.  Meaning that he has learned that his behavior has an effect on the consequence.  In other words, he can make Judy click & treat when he offers the desired behavior.  This understanding makes an animal extremely easy to train.

Also note that the open bowl of food is sitting on the floor.  But, Trick has learned that it’s not free, he needs to work for it.  And he really seems to enjoy training.  When we work the dogs he is always right there!

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