Dog Training

In PSY 245 Learning and Conditioning, students learn about how animals and humans learn to predict and change events in their environment. Animals predict events through associative learning and change environmental conditions by acting on the environment. In this clip students are training dogs through, classical conditioning, to predict that the sound of a click predicts a food reward. In this simple training procedure, the student clicks once and provides the dog with a treat. This process is repeated 100 times with test trials spaced throughout the training. In a test trial, just the click is presented and the dog’s behavior is observed. Over the 100 training trials, the dog’s behavior changes from not paying much attention to the click to getting really excited, and sometimes frustrated, when the click happens but no food is delivered. Once the dog understands that the click predicts food reward, students can use the click to reward a dog’s behavior and shape new behaviors in a relatively short period of time. Dogs then learn to “make the click happen” through their behavior, thus changing their environmental conditions.

 

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