Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning is also sometimes called Pavlovian conditioning. This is best defined as the dog understanding a simple association.

For many dog owners, the name Pavlov no doubt rings a bell. Ivan Pavlov was not a dog trainer. In fact, his main interest was digestion. From 1891 through 1900, Pavlov studied the digestive process in dogs, particularly salivation and its role in assisting digestion. As he conducted his studies, Pavlov realized that without salivation, the stomach didn't receive the message to start digesting food. Pavlov then attempted to see if he could start salivation without the stimulus of food. To do this, he rang a bell whenever he gave the dogs something to eat. Eventually, he stopped giving them the food and just rang the bell. When he did, his dogs would begin to salivate even though there was no food present. Pavlov published these results in 1903, calling the response a conditioned reflex, and distinguishing it from an innate or involuntary reflex such as pulling one's hand away from a hot stove.

This process by which his dogs learned to associate the sound of the bell with the food was dubbed conditioning.

How To Train Your Puppy

How To Train Your Puppy

Getting a new puppy is a fun and interesting time. You probably went to a breeder or pet store or maybe just saw an ad on the Internet or the newspaper, for puppies, and decided just to check it out. Before you knew it those little eyes and fluffy puppy fur had your heart melting and you were headed home with him or her in your arms. If you are like most new pet owners you had visions of playing fetch with your dog, of watching him frolic at the lake, and of cuddling up on cold nights.

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