Saturday, May 7, 2011

Reinforcing Students

I came across this list of "good job" phrases. Not all of them are applicable, but it's important to remember there is more than the "Very Good!" "Excellent!" "Nice!" and "Great!" that I typically use.

One thing I've noticed in the last few weeks is that I need to be more careful about my reinforcement for humans for response to dog errors.

There are points in training where the dog makes an error...and the human has to respond in some way. Not reinforcing. Starting over. Moving to re-set. And some people have a hard time with that. They reinforce for the error, they give the dog a look before reseting. They pause and flounder for a moment trying to remember what to do.

If I don't explain the exercise well, or what the focus (TAG) point is, to these people it seems like I'm giving a "Nice!" or "Great!" for the dog making a mistake. When timing and intention is for their response to the error!

Now I'm trying to say "Correct!" or "Good on your part!" to try to more carefully direct the reinforcement/marker words to the human end of things.

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