glossary

Dog Training and Behavior Terms

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There are currently 20 names in this directory beginning with the letter C.
Calming Signals.
Subtle behavior used by dogs to avoid or diffuse confrontation and aggression. It is said that a dog uses signals to either calm themselves down or used to calm another. Signals can be offered and returned. Calming signals are a set of body language skills which dogs use to maintain healthy relationships and resolve conflict without having to resort to aggressive behaviors.
Captured Behavior.
Reinforcing an animal in the act of performing the complete behavior. Capturing is good for adding a cue to a behavior your dog already offers naturally.
Chaining.
A series of individual behaviors in which an animal is trained to perform in sequence. Each behavior provides the cue for the next behavior, and only the last behavior in the chain results in delivery of a primary reinforcer.
Classical Conditioning.
Also known as Respondent Conditioning. The process of associating a neutral stimulus with an involuntary response until the stimulus elicits the response.
Clicker Training.
Use of a clicker that uses positive reinforcement in combination with an event marker.
Clicker.
Animal trainers use a clicker as an event marker to mark a desired response. The sound of the clicker is an excellent marker because it is unique, quick, and consistent.
Coercion.
The practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.
Conditioned Emotional Response. CER
Form of a learned response whereby emotional reactions such as fear, anger or joy are elicited. Phobias that are established through classical/Respondent conditioning - thunderstorms to rain. CER's are learned emotional reactions like anxiety or happiness that occur as a response to predictive cues.
Conditioned Reinforcer.
A reinforcer effective because it has been previously paired with an unconditioned reinforcer or an already established conditioned reinforcer. Also called a secondary reinforcer.
Conditioned Response (cr).
In classical conditioning, the conditioned response is the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus.
Conditioned Stimulus (cs).
In classical conditioning, the conditioned stimulus is a previously neutral stimulus that, after becoming associated with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually comes to trigger a conditioned response.
Conditioning.
A biological process by which behavior is changed as a result of experience. Learning!
Consequence.
The experiences, developments or stimuli which occur right after the behavior are consequences. They are like feedback for the behavior performed and act as catalyst for repeating/strengthening the same behavior in the future. Edward Lee Thorndike, the first important animal researcher observed through his research what is now known as the ‘law of effect’. It states that ‘any behavior which is accompanied by satisfying and agreeable consequences maybe repeated and those which are followed by undesirable consequences will most probably be terminated.’
Construct.
BEHAVIOR WHAT It's NOT Hypothetical constructs - constructs are a particular kind of label that goes beyond simple description of observable behaviors into the realm of hypothetical (one would say pseudo - science) explanations for why an animal behaves as it does. The cause of behavior is found in CONTEXTS, not in animals. There are always conditions on which behavior depends. Therefore changing conditions changes behavior. A concept "construct/label" cannot cause behavior because it has no tangible form. Cannot be measured.
Contiguity.
Contiguity which states that things that occur near each other in time or space are readily associated. Time between a behavior and consequence. For learning to take place, the response must occur in the presence of or very soon after a stimulus is presented, or an association will not occur. In reality, this is a behaviorist view based on the idea that learning will occur only if events occur relatively close together in time.
Contingency.
The if/then relationship between a behavior and its controlling environmental variables (consequences).
Continuous Reinforcement. CRF
When a target behavior is reinforced each and every time it is exhibited.
Counter-Conditioning.
Describes the process and/or procedure of countering previous respondent conditioning with new respondent conditioning. Means to teach dog to have a pleasant feeling or reaction to something they once feared or disliked. To “condition” means "to change behavior", and to “counter” means "to oppose", "to run contrary to," or "to reverse or go in the opposite direction." NOTE: With counter-conditioning, the animal's respondent behavior to a stimulus is replaced with an opposite automatic response.- Standard definition, as worded by Susan Friedman from professional LLA
Covert Behavior.
Behavior that cannot be observed by anyone other than the person performing the behavior (i.e. thinking, dreaming, etc.).
Cue.
Antecedent stimulus that signals the availability of reinforcement, contingent on the appropriate behavior. Cues may be verbal, physical , or environmental.

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