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.
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This was a great real-life application of operant conditioning. I would use the same techniques for my dog when we were training her as a puppy. They were very effective and just like Hazel, my dog would eventually listen to certain commands even if she did not get rewarded.ReplyDelete
This is a great example of operant conditioning. Also, Hazel is SUPER cute!ReplyDelete
I like your example of how you used operant conditioning with your dog, Hazel. My family and I used a similar method to teach our dog, Maggie, to do things such as "sit" and "shake". This was very effective in teaching her new commands and we also used it to teach her to ring a bell to let us know to let her outside.ReplyDelete
Hi Katie, first, I think your puppy is so adorable. Also, I love how you used operant conditioning in something personal and close to you. I don't have a dog now, but when I do get one I will surely use these methods.ReplyDelete