Teaching Recall: A New Standard

May 6, 2020

© Can Stock Photo/Bigandt

A favorite expression amongst pet trainers is that we should aim to have a “constructional approach” to changing behavior. This means we should be working to build the most appropriate behaviors rather than focusing on a punitive approach toward what humans consider to be annoying or frustrating behaviors their pets may, at times, exhibit. As such, rather than punishing a particular behavior, we must ask this simple question: What behavior would we prefer the pet to perform as an alternative in this situation? Once we have identified this, we can develop a training plan to meet the client’s goal. The same philosophy applies to the human side of our behavior change equation. If a client is using an aversive piece of equipment, we must ask what they are trying to achieve and how can we better help them to achieve it – without resorting to aversives (Issue 42, May 2020, pp.38-44). Read article