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Leash Skills Series #2: Defining Leash Training

Behavior science has shown us how dogs learn.  When we use positive reinforcement to teach leash skills, we get a dog who curiously looks for what to do to gain rewards, paying attention to the human at the end of the leash. When we use equipment that limits their ability to move, tightens up or zaps them when they pull on the leash, we get a dog who makes decisions based on avoiding pain or fear, and sometimes a dog who simply gives in to the drag on the leash in a situation termed “learned helplessness.”  Why should he think or try, when he doesn’t even know what it might feel like to have a loose leash?  If the leash is always tight and pulling, why would the dog ever pay attention to his handler?  He can just lean on the leash and move in the direction with the least resistance; he can even have some control over the direction.  If the handler pulls harder than the dog, the dog will give in to the pressure – but the handler might need an ice pack for his arm when they get home!

“Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey

You need a vision of what you want. Define it. Training begins inside your brain. One of the procedures Olympic athletes and other high-level performers use is visualization. They actually “practice” their routines and techniques in their minds before starting to do anything physical. Try it, and then practice walking as though you’re with your dog, holding the end of a loose leash, when it’s just you. Create your own habits first, before bringing the dog into the picture. Let the vision of what you want guide you. Create the training plan you need to teach the dog the individual behaviors that lead to that result.

Dogs don’t “come with” leash skills.  It’s not innate, and in fact, it’s quite foreign to them.  Consider what it might be like to have a line attached to you and someone pulling you around with it when you have your own ideas of where you’d like to go.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be invited to come along, instead? Training is required, for humans and dogs.    

“You can’t expect an animal to reliably perform a behavior you haven’t gone through a teaching process to train the animal to do.”                                                                                                     –  Alexandra Kurland

Training a dog to walk with you as a partner involves learning to communicate effectively with your dog, teaching him to do his part to keep the leash between you loose, and doing your part to scope out a pathway for the two of you that works for both. Start training indoors, somewhere you and the dog can focus solely on the skills you’re working on, with these goals in mind. Our next installment in the leash skills series will help you get started on turning your walks into joyful experiences for you and your dog.

Watch for the next installment in our series on Leash Skills!

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Leash Skills Series #1: What do we want from a walk with a dog?

One joyous vision of having a dog is going for long walks in the beauty of the outdoors with a beloved canine companion, enjoying the sights and smells of the world, and becoming more closely bonded as partners.  This can occur only if both human and dog have the skills necessary to the task. 

We humans commonly have abominable leash skills, mostly because we assume we have control of the dog simply because a leash is attached.  We tend to depend on the leash, and we just don’t try very hard, hence all the discussion online about what type of equipment to put on the dog to “make” it walk nicely. 

We allow ourselves to be distracted from our job of paying attention to the dog, being his partner, enjoying teamwork with our beloved dog, and most importantly, doing the required training to help a dog succeed.  Try to imagine from a dog’s perspective what it might be like to get excited about going outside for a walk with no real guidance from the human on the other end of the leash: 

“I always run to the end of the leash, pulling with all my might, nose out and stretching my legs to get to the next exciting thing along the path.  My human is coming behind, but so slowly!  I pull harder.  I don’t feel any pain from my collar or harness pulling – I think they call it being “desensitized.”  My human sometimes makes noises or offers treats, but I’m so excited about the sights and smells I can barely hear her, and the outdoors has completely captured my brain anyway!  This is how our walks always go; my beloved human just can’t seem to keep up, but I’ll just go on my own.  Partnership?  What’s that? – Bowser, a dog

One big problem with this scenario is that the human has very little control over the dog.  If anything untoward happens, another dog comes around the corner or a squirrel or cat crosses the path, the handler will be lucky to be able to physically pull the dog out of danger by dragging on the leash.  If any of the equipment fails, they’re in big trouble. 

Consider two human friends out for a walk.  There are certain understandings between them, honed from childhood in the form of politeness and manners.  Walking along next to someone requires vigilance to ensure you don’t bump, trip, or step in front of them.  When you reach a fork in the path, you use some form of communication as to which way the two of you will turn, whether it’s a simple pointing gesture or nod of the head, or actual words:  “Why don’t we go this way?”  We certainly don’t grab a human companion and pull.

Partners walking together!

How can we make a walk with a dog look more like two companions walking together than like a rodeo, or like someone leading a hostage? 

Notice the pressure on this dog’s neck, and his uncomfortable gait. A tight leash is not conducive to an enjoyable walk.

First, we have to know what’s possible.  If we’ve only ever walked a dog – er, had a dog walk us – on a tight leash, it’s hard to imagine a loose leash and partnership with a dog.  Believe it’s possible, that you have the power to make the choice, and you’re capable of learning it! 

Watch for the next installment in our series on Leash Skills!

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Science and Animal Training Series #4: Why does Science-based Training Matter?

There’s a big picture, and it involves how we treat animals and humans.  Positive reinforcement can help us get others to respond in ways we like.  It requires us to observe our own behavior and choose what we do so we can get the responses we want.  This is how we train flighty animals like chickens, carnivores like dogs and cats, herbivorous herd animals like goats, sheep, horses, and cows. We behave differently about each species we train, based on their niche in the world. We can train rodents, parrots, reptiles, fish, octopus, and more.  It’s about knowing something about those animals and using that to predict what they are likely to do in a given situation. Then we can set up the situation that works for what we want to start training, use our own behavior to facilitate the training process, and select the correct bits of behavior to reinforce and build into our final goal.

You may not have seen this way of learning modeled much in your life, or maybe you were one of the lucky ones who did.  Many of us grew up with the model of being spanked when we did something bad and the idea of “showing animals who is boss.”  When I first began to learn dog training skills, I was taught to look for the dog to do the wrong thing, then use one of the many available techniques to hurt the dog until he began to do the behavior correctly.  All this worked.  But I began to learn in 1990 that I could use a little more of my brain power, learn to observe when the dog did something that was a small part of the final behavior I wanted, reinforce that, and build my goal behavior much more rapidly than hurting the dog.  I could do this without any of the problems I was seeing in my obedience competition dogs I was using punishment to train.  Problems included slow speeds in the ring, dogs who would rather be farther away from me than close, and dogs who appeared to want to go home rather then to a competition.  These were very subtle issues. Many people might not have even noticed them, and I was conquering them and doing well in competition, but I wanted more.

I found what I wanted after attending a seminar with Dr. Ian Dunbar and then diving into study with Dr. Bob Bailey for nearly 20 years.  Dr. Dunbar showed me that looking for the positive would help me find it; observation skills can be learned.  Dr. Bailey taught me the specifics of shaping behavior, meticulous observation skills, and how to develop great timing.  These skills can also be learned. You have to want to learn them, and it’s a challenge to change what your brain has learned to focus on, just as it’s a challenge to change any habit that is no longer serving your needs. But now, I can train animals to do things I couldn’t even dream of before.  My goat learned to voluntarily lift his foot to have a hoof trimmed; the sheep learned to stand quietly for shearing. My dogs began to learn tricks and obedience behaviors so fast and with such precision, it made my head spin.  My cats learn tricks and husbandry behaviors just as well as my dogs. My teaching of students followed suit.  I learned to use positive reinforcement to help my students and to carefully shape their behavior, just like my mentor, Dr. Bailey, taught me.  Allowing students to explore helps them discover individual pieces of behavior they can change to get what they want. 

Observing people and animals, looking for what they’re doing right, and reinforcing selected behaviors that lead to the goal, is a way of being that gets results I like.  It’s a way of having the relationship I want to have with my dog. That’s why science-based training matters. It may help you get what you want from your life with your dog.

This concludes our series on Science and Animal Training, though the topic pervades everything we do at The Mannerly Dog!    

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Science and Animal Training #3: What is Behavior Science?

Here are the basic principles of behavior science:  Stimulation, Reinforcement, Extinction, Punishment, and Generalization.  Stimulation is a cue; it’s whatever causes the animal to do a particular behavior.  You may be thinking about saying “sit” and the dog sits; that’s one, but you’ll learn to observe that there are so many more stimuli that are in the picture!  For instance, your position is part of the cue – maybe your dog only sits if you’re standing in front of him when you say it. Give it a try while sitting in a chair. (If your dog doesn’t sit the first time you try this, it’s not because he’s wrong – it’s because you’ve never taught him that particular cue, in that position. We call this a “stimulus picture.”)

If you and your dog are at home with your family, the familiar environment is part of the stimulus picture in which you say “sit” and your dog sits.  If you’re at the park and there are lots of people, dogs, nature smells, and more, you may say “sit” and your dog may act like he has no idea you’re there.  He may be overwhelmed by the number of stimuli around him and unable to respond to the specific verbal cue you gave him, until you have gone through a teaching process to train him to respond the way you want in that particular situation.  This is similar to changing the stimulus picture, as we talked about in the previous paragraph. But the principle of Generalization is what’s going on here, as it means the dog can learn to generalize his response in a variety of different situations; thus, he can “sit” on different surfaces, when different people say the cue, and with different distracting stimuli going on around him.  He can learn to do the behavior in any situation, but you have to go through a teaching process to help him learn in each of those settings so it’s easy for him to get it right.

When the dog gets the behavior right, we reinforce. Reinforcement is perhaps the most fun, because it’s where you get to give your dog a treat or allow him some privilege he enjoys after he does a behavior you like, planning for that behavior to show up more often and become stronger.  This is the Positive Reinforcement upon which all our training is founded, and that you hear so much about in the dog training world these days.

Extinction is figuring out what reinforcement a dog may be getting for a behavior you don’t like, and taking control to stop that from happening.  Why does he jump up on people?  To get attention?  Removing all instances of the dog getting attention by jumping up on people allows that behavior to extinguish.  (Even yelling and pushing a dog off of you may be reinforcing the behavior of jumping up; even telling the dog to get “down” or “off” may be reinforcing it. Take a look at what’s really going on – analyze it with an open mind and change something.) It works, though it usually requires the help of prevention tactics by the dog’s owner.  Extinction is a challenge to use, because we humans have a lot going on and we find it challenging to be observant of our dogs at all times in order to accomplish extinction.  But we find it useful in training, nonetheless – especially when accompanied by teaching the dog another behavior, like automatically sitting when he greets someone in this case – if he’s sitting, he’s not jumping up, and you have a behavior you can reinforce and build.

Punishment is often given by the environment, in the form of a wasp sting after a dog noses around a nest. Sometimes being sprayed by a skunk after a dog attempts to prey on one is a punishment, though some dogs seem to get sprayed by skunks repeatedly, meaning the punishment isn’t working very well.  That’s one problem with using punishment:  the definition is “something given after a behavior that diminishes (hopefully eliminates) that behavior in the future.”  Often, people apply something they think is a punisher for a behavior and find that behavior still occurs, but now their dog is afraid of them, or afraid of the room where they did whatever they did, and now they have to focus their training on building the dog’s confidence and helping him get over his fear.  The good news is that management of the dog, prevention of behaviors you don’t want, and reinforcement of behaviors you like is better for training than using punishment is, even for high level behaviors like service dog work, operative and working dogs, performance training, and more.

Watch for the next installment in our series on Science and Animal Training!

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B. F. Skinner on How To Teach Animals

Teaching, it is often said, is an art, but we have increasing reason to hope that it may eventually become a science. We have already discovered enough about the nature of learning to devise training techniques which are much more rapid and give more reliable results than the rule-of-thumb methods of the past. Tested on animals, the new techniques have proved superior to traditional methods of professional animal trainers; they yield more remarkable results with much less effort.

It takes rather subtle laboratory conditions to test an animal’s full learning capacity, but the reader may be surprised at how much he can accomplish even under informal circumstances at home. Since nearly everyone at some time or other has tried, or wished he knew how, to train a dog, a cat, or some other animal, perhaps the most useful way to explain the learning process is to describe some simple experiments which the reader can perform himself.

“Catch your rabbit” is the first item in a well-known recipe for rabbit stew. Your first move, of course, is to choose an experimental subject. Any available animal – a cat, a dog, a pigeon, a mouse, a parrot, a chicken, a pig – will do. (Children or other members of your family may also be available, but it is suggested that you save them until you have had practice with less valuable material.) Suppose you choose a dog.

The second thing you will need is something your subject wants, say food. This serves as a reward or – to use a term which is less likely to be misunderstood – a “reinforcement” for the desired behavior. Many things besides food are reinforcing – for example, simply letting the dog out for a run – but food is usually the easiest to administer in the kind of experiment to be described here. If you use food, you must of course perform the experiment when the dog is hungry, perhaps just before his dinnertime.

The reinforcement gives you a means of controlling the behavior of the animal. It rests on the simple principle that whenever something reinforces a particular form of behavior, it increases the chances that the animal will repeat that behavior. This makes it possible to shape an animal’s behavior almost as a sculptor shapes a lump of clay. There is, of course, nothing new in this principle. What is new is a better understanding of the conditions under which reinforcement works best.

To be effective a reinforcement must be given almost simultaneously with the desired behavior; a delay of even one second destroys much of the effect. This means that offering food in the usual way is likely to be ineffective; it is not fast enough. The best way to reinforce the behavior with the necessary speed is to use a “conditioned” reinforcer. This is a signal which the animal has observed in association with food. The animal is always given food immediately after the signal, and the signal itself then becomes a reinforcer. The better the association between the two events, the better the result.

For a conditioned reinforcer you need a clear signal which can be given instantly and to which the subject is sure to respond. It may be a noise or a flash of light. A whistle is not recommended because of the time it takes to draw a breath before blowing it. A visual signal like a wave of the arm may not always be seen by the animal. A convenient signal is a rap on a table with a small hard object or the noise of a high-pitched device such as a “cricket.”

You are now ready to start the experiment with your dog. Work in a convenient place as free as possible from distraction. Let us say that you have chosen a “cricket” as your conditioned reinforcer. To build up its reinforcing power begin by tossing a few pieces of food, one at a time and not oftener than once or twice a minute, where the dog may eat them. Use pieces so small that 30 or 40 will not appreciably reduce the animal’s hunger. As soon as the dog eats pieces readily and without delay, begin to pair the cricket with the food. Sound the cricket and then toss a piece of food. Wait half a minute or so and repeat. Sound the cricket suddenly, without any preparatory movement such as reaching for food.

At this stage your subject will probably show well-marked begging behavior. It may watch you intently, perhaps jump on you, and so on. You must break up this behavior, because it will interfere with other parts of the experiment. Never sound the cricket or give food when the dog is close to you or facing you. Wait until it turns away, then reinforce. Your conditioned reinforcer will be working properly when the dog turns immediately, and approaches the spot where it receives food. Test this several times.

Wait until the dog is in a fairly unusual position, then sound the signal. Time spent in making sure the dog immediately approaches the food will later be saved manyfold.

Now, having established the noise as a reinforcer, you may begin teaching the dog. To get the feel of the technique start with some simple task, such as getting the dog to approach the handle on a low cupboard door and touch it with its nose. At first you reinforce any activity which will be part of the final completed act or approaching and touching the handle of the cupboard. The only permissible contact between you and the dog is via the cricket and the food. Do not touch the dog, talk to it, coax it, “draw its attention,” or interfere in any other way with the experiment. If your subject just sits, you may have to begin by reinforcing any movement, however slight. As soon as the dog moves, sound the cricket and give food. Remember that your reaction time is important. Try to reinforce as nearly simultaneously with the movement as possible.

After your subject has begun to move about, reinforce when it turns to the cupboard. Almost immediately you will notice a change in its behavior. It will begin to face toward the cupboard most of the time. Then begin to reinforce only when the dog moves nearer the cupboard. (If you withhold reinforcement too long at this stage, you may lose the facing response. If so, go back and pick it up.) In a very short time – perhaps a minute or two – you should have the dog standing close to the cupboard. Now begin to pay attention to its head. Reinforce any movement which brings the nose close to the handle. You will have to make special efforts now to reduce the time between the movement and the reinforcement to the very minimum. Presently the dog will touch the handle with its nose, and after reinforcement it will repeat this behavior so long as it remains hungry.

Usually it takes no more than five minutes, even for a beginner, to teach a dog this behavior. Moreover, the dog does not have to be particularly “smart” to learn it; contrary to the usual view, all normal dogs learn with about equal facility with this conditioning technique.

Before going on with other experiments test the effect of your conditioned reinforcer again two or three times. If the dog responds quickly and eats without delay you may safely continue. You should “extinguish” the response the dog has already learned, however, before teaching it another. Stop reinforcing the act of touching the cupboard handle until the dog abandons this activity.

As a second test, let us say, you want to teach the dog to lift its head in the air and turn around to the right. The general procedure is the same, but you may need some help in sharpening your observation of the behavior to be reinforced. As a guide to the height to which the dog’s [head is] to be raised, sight some horizontal line on the wall across the room. Whenever the dog, in its random movements, lifts its head above this line, reinforce immediately. You will soon see the head rising above the line [more] and more frequently. Now raise your sights slightly and reinforce when the head rises above the new level. By a series of gradual steps you can get the dog to hold its head much higher than usual. After this you begin to emphasize any turning movement in a clockwise direction [while] the head is high. Eventually the dog should execute a kind of dance. If you use available food carefully, a single session should suffice for setting up this behavior.

Having tested your ability to produce these simple responses, you [may] feel confident enough to approach a more complex assignment. Suppose you try working with a pigeon. Pigeons do not tame easily. You will probably want a cage to help control the bird, and for this you can rig up a large cardboard carton with a screen or lattice top and window in the side for observing the bird. It is much less disturbing to the bird if you watch it from below its line of vision than if you peer at it from [above]. In general keep yourself out of the experimental situation as much as possible. You may still use a cricket as a conditioned reinforcer, and feed the bird by dropping a few grains of pigeon food into a small dish through a hole in the wall. It may take several daily feedings to get the bird readily [eating] and to respond quickly to the cricket.

Your assignment is to teach the pigeon to identify the visual patterns on playing cards. To begin with, hang a single card on a nail on the wall of the cage a few inches above the floor so that the pigeon can easily peck it. After you have trained the bird to peck the card by reinforcing the movements which lead to that end, change the card and again reinforce the peck. If you shuffle the cards and present them at random, the pigeon will learn to peck any card offered.

Now begin to teach it to discriminate among the cards. Let us say [you start by] using diamonds and clubs (excluding face cards and aces) and want the bird to select diamonds. Reinforce only when the card presented is a diamond, never when it is a club. Almost immediately the bird will begin to show a preference for diamonds. You can speed up its progress toward complete rejection of clubs by discontinuing the experiment for a moment (a mild form of punishment) whenever it pecks a club. A good conditioned punishment is simply to turn off the light [“blacking out”] or cover or remove the card. After half a minute replace the card or turn on the light and continue the experiment. Under these conditions the response [which] is positively reinforced with food remains part of the repertoire of the bird, while the response which leads to a blackout quickly disappears.

There is an amusing variation of this experiment by which you can make it appear that a pigeon can be taught to read. You simply use two printed cards bearing the words PECK and DON’T PECK, respectively. By reinforcing responses to PECK and blacking out when the bird pecks DON’T PECK, it is quite easy to train the bird to obey the commands on the cards.

The pigeon can also be taught the somewhat more “intellectual” performance of matching a sample object. Let us say the sample to be matched is a certain card. Fasten three cards to a board, with one above and the two others side by side just below it. The board is placed so that the bird can reach all the cards through windows cut in the side of the cage. After training the bird to peck a card of any kind impartially in all three positions, present the three chosen cards. The sample to be matched, say the three of diamonds, is at the top, and below it put a three of diamonds and a three of clubs. If the bird pecks the sample three of diamonds at the top, do nothing. If it pecks the matching three of diamonds below, reinforce it; if it pecks the three of clubs, black out. After each correct response and reinforcement, switch the positions of the two lower cards. The pigeon should soon match the sample each time. Conversely, it can also be taught to select the card which does not match the sample. It is important to reinforce correct choices immediately. Your own behavior must be letter-perfect if you are to expect perfection from your subject. The task can be made easier if the pigeon is conditioned to peck the sample card before you begin to train it to match the sample.

In a more elaborate variation of this experiment we have found it possible to make a pigeon choose among four words so that it appears to “name the suit” of the sample card. You prepare four cards about the size of small calling cards, each bearing in block letters the name of a suit: SPADES, HEARTS, DIAMONDS, and CLUBS. Fasten these side by side in a row and teach the pigeon to peck them by reinforcing in the usual way. Now arrange a sample playing card just above them. Cover the name cards and reinforce the pigeon a few times for pecking the sample. Now present, say, the three of diamonds as the sample. When the pigeon pecks it, immediately uncover the name cards If the pigeon pecks DIAMONDS, reinforce instantly. If it pecks a wrong name instead, black out for half a minute and then resume the experiment with the three of diamonds still in place and the name cards covered. After a correct choice, change the sample card to a different suit while the pigeon is eating. Always keep the names covered until the sample card has been pecked. Within a short time you should have the bird following the full sequence of pecking the sample and then the appropriate name card. As time passes the correct name will be pecked more and more frequently and, if you do not too often reinforce wrong responses or neglect to reinforce right ones, the pigeon should soon become letter-perfect.

A toy piano offers interesting possibilities for performances of a more artistic nature. Reinforce any movement of the pigeon that leads toward its pressing a key. Then, by using reinforcements and blackouts appropriately, narrow the response to a given key. Then build up a two-note sequence [by] reinforcing only when the sequence has been completed and by blacking out when any other combination of keys is struck. The two-note sequence will quickly emerge. Other notes may then be added. Pigeons, chickens, small dogs, and cats have been taught in this way to play tunes of four or five notes. The situation soon becomes too complicated, however, for the casual experimenter. You will find it difficult to control the tempo, and the reinforcing contingencies become very complex. The limit of such an experiment is determined as much by the experimenter’s skill as by that of the animal. In the laboratory we have been able to provide assistance to the experimenter by setting up complicated devices which always reinforce consistently and avoid exhaustion of the experimenter’s patience.

The increased precision of the laboratory also makes it possible to guarantee performance up to the point of almost complete certainty. When relevant conditions have been controlled, the behavior of the organism is fully determined. Behavior may be sustained in full strength for many hours by utilizing different schedules of reinforcement. Some of these correspond to the contingencies established in industry in daily wages or in piece-work pay; others resemble the subtle but powerful contingencies of gambling devices, which are notorious for their ability to command sustained behavior.

The human baby is an excellent subject in experiments of the kind described here. You will not need to interfere with feeding schedules or create any other state of deprivation, because the human infant can be reinforced by very trivial environmental events; it does not need such reward as food. Almost any “feedback” from the environment is reinforcing if it is not too intense. A crumpled newspaper, a pan and a spoon, or any convenient noisemaker quickly generates appropriate behavior, [often] amusing in its violence. The baby’s rattle is based upon this principle.

One reinforcer to which babies often respond is the flashing on and off of a table lamp. Select some arbitrary response – for example, lifting the hand. Whenever the baby lifts its hand, flash the light. In a short time a well-defined response will be generated. (Human babies are just as “smart” as dogs or pigeons in this respect.) Incidentally, the baby will enjoy the experiment.

The same principle is at work in the behavior of older children and adults. Important among human reinforcements are those aspects of the behavior of others, often very subtle, which we call “attention,” “approval” and “affection.” Behavior which is successful in achieving these reinforcements may come to dominate the repertoire of the individual.

All this may be easily used – and just as easily misused – in our relations with other people. To the reader who is anxious to advance to the human subject a word of caution is in order. Reinforcement is only one of the procedures through which we alter behavior. To use it, we must build up some degree of deprivation or at least permit a deprivation to prevail which it is within our power to reduce. We must embark upon a program in which we sometimes apply relevant reinforcement and sometimes withhold it. In doing this, we are quite likely to generate emotional effects. Unfortunately the science of behavior is not yet as successful in controlling emotion as it is in shaping practical behavior.

A scientific analysis can, however, bring about a better understanding of personal relations. We are almost always reinforcing the behavior of others, whether we mean to be or not. A familiar problem is that of the child who seems to take an almost pathological delight in annoying its parents. In many cases this is the result of conditioning which is very similar to the animal training we have discussed. The attention, approval, and affection which a mother gives a child are all extremely powerful reinforcements. Any behavior of the child which produces these consequences is likely to be strengthened. The mother may unwittingly promote the very behavior she does not want. For example, when she is busy she is likely not to respond to a call or request made in a quiet tone of voice. She may answer the child only when it raises its voice. The average intensity of the child’s vocal behavior therefore moves up to another level – precisely as the head of the dog in our experiment was raised to a new height. Eventually the mother gets used to this level and again reinforces only louder instances. This vicious circle brings about louder and louder behavior. The child’s voice may also vary in intonation, and any change in the direction of unpleasantness is more likely to get the attention of the mother and is therefore strengthened. One might even say that “annoying” behavior is just that behavior which is especially effective in arousing another person to action. The mother behaves, in fact, as if she had been given the assignment of teaching the child to be annoying! The remedy in such a case is simply for the mother to make sure she responds with attention and affection to most if not all the responses of the child which are of acceptable intensity and tone of voice and that she never reinforces the annoying forms of behavior.

Published in Scientific American, December 1951. Vol. 423 of Scientific American Reprints.