Operant conditioning is a “type of learning in which the future probability (strength) of a behavior is affected by its consequences” (Powell). There are many examples of operant conditioning presented to us on a daily basis and a great example of it is within our pets. To be more in depth about my everyday experiences with operant conditioning, I have an 8 month old miniature dachshund named Hazel. To acclimate her better to my household I decided to use operant conditioning for key basic training skills, a lot of them treat related.
She learned early on when I told her to sit or lay down and when she listened to my command that she would receive her favorite treat. After a set period of time of me constantly repeating this act of giving a treat, Hazel understood the command and would sit if I told her to regardless of if I had a treat in my hand or not. Her pairing the treat and the act of sitting allowed for her to then move on to more commands which definitely always ended in her getting more treats. Operant conditioning in its most basic form is our innate behavior to learn from our actions. Hazel equated listening to my command as a way for her to possibly get rewarded. Yes sometimes it took quite a few days and several treats to establish a new skill for Hazel, but due to operant conditioning she soon thrived in the basic training of aspect of puppyhood.