Tips & Quotes

Training is a mechanical skill

Practice training procedures without the animal:

  • Practice clicking.
  • Practice giving the food, toy, or praise.
  • Practice moving and training at the same time.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Then, train the animal.

Suggestions for beter training, Bailey & Bailey -
Zie ook
Wie zijn Marian en Bob Bailey?

Primary reinforcement and reinforcers

Food, play, social, and other stimuli filling a need or want may be useful in training. The primary reinforcer strengthens behavior. It can matter what, when, and how the primary reinforcement is delivered.

As much thought should go into the delivery of the primary reinforcer as goes into the secondary, or bridge.

Suggestions for beter training, Bailey & Bailey –
Zie ook Wie zijn Marian en Bob Bailey?


Mix up your reinforcements

Mix up your reinforcements so that you are working with toys and food.

Only offer a reward you know your dog will want. Once a reward is offered, do not accept your dog not taking it. You can use food to reinforce an attempt to play (or the other way around) but never use food to reinforce a dog that has declined the opportunity to play or decided to stop playing.

What would you be rewarding? Of course you would have rewarded your dog for making the decision to NOT play with you (and remember work=play=work).

Say Yes Training Reminders, Susan Garrett -

Think, Plan, Do, Review - Susan Garrett


  • Plan your work and work your plan. Time your session or count reinforcements so you don’t train your dog to exhaustion.
  • Do not begin to train until you have worked through your mechanical skills and planned where you will deliver your rewards.
  • Keep your training session short!
  • After each session, write in a journal recording your progress and plans for future sessions.
  • Do what will assist you reaching your goals; do not get wrapped up in ‘finishing’ a sequence or exercise. Do what is best for your dog!

Say Yes Training Reminders, Susan Garrett -


Work = play = work

All play is fun and so all work should be as well. If your dog makes a decision during play (example he grabs his toy without being invited to do so) you are reinforcing his right to make decisions during working with you as well (ah, maybe I will chase the cat rather than practice A Frames right now!).

Say Yes Training Reminders, Susan Garrett -

Think-Plan-Do - Bob Bailey

Think Plan – Do (three separate behaviors, don't mix them)

  • First let your imagination soar; consider every training idea without concern for practicality.
  • Next, filter out the wild, impractical schemes and build a detailed doable pathway to the desired behavior.
  • Finally, carry out your plan.

Suggestions for beter training, Bailey & Bailey –
ie ook Wie zijn Marian en Bob Bailey?

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