Monday, April 27, 2009

An excellent online tool

My husband’s a Michigan fan, and much to his chagrin, I’m a State fan.
I have good, solid reasoning for why I love State. And it’s completely unrelated to sports.
I’m not much of a sports fan at all.
But I am passionate about two things: journalism and dogs.
Michigan State University is, in our state, a true leader in both those areas.
Their journalism program is probably the best in the state, and so is their veterinary program.
Chances are, if your pet has an issue that needs some genius minds to fix it, you’re going to be headed to Lansing.
I was so pleased when one day, years ago, I stumbled across a great canine behavior and training resource online that is hosted by Michigan State University.
The articles are so helpful, insightful, interesting, and dead-on right.
You can read about simple things like how to housebreak a dog, read debates on crate training, browse a plethora of behavior articles and — here’s a big winner — learn about operant and classical conditioning and the use of positive reinforcement and negative punishment in animal training.
Operant and classical conditioning are the two ways in which dogs learn.
If nothing else, we should at least understand how our dogs learn. After all, if you don’t know how your dog learns, how are you supposed to teach him to behave?
Here are quick descriptions of these learning methods:
Classical Conditioning: Think of Pavlov’s salivating dogs — we’ve all heard the story. It is conditioning a dog to respond to a stimuli by teaching it to make associations.
Operant Conditioning: Teaching a dog to form associations between behaviors and consequences.
And for those with fearful dogs (I can commiserate, this is a big issue for Sensi), the Web site offers golden advice.
So whether you’re a Michigan fan or State fan, give this Web site a good look. It’s an excellent resource to begin understanding your dog.
Click here to visit it now.

1 comment:

  1. Karen,
    What a great resource! Thanks for putting it out there!
    :) nicole