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Episode 63: What Comes Before: Part 1

This week’s episode focuses on antecedents. What are some of the factors that influence the behavior you are seeing? How can you set your learners up for success? Whether you are trying to solve a behavior problem, or you’re teaching a new skill, what comes before offers a lot of fertile ground for behavior change.

Episode 62: Get Ready! Get Set! Go! Part 2

In the second half of this conversation we continue with the theme of cues evolve. Cues should evolve because the behaviors they are associated with are also evolving. What does that mean? Is anticipation a problem or is it a good thing? How do we stabilize cues? What is the "What Happens If . . . " game? Find out in this week's episode.

Episode 61: Get Ready. Get Set. Go!

After our recent podcasts with Sarah Owings, Dominique and I had another long conversation about cues. Dominique was particularly interested in some comments I made at the end of the last podcast with Sarah about anticipation and the get ready, get set, go way in which cues evolve. We began by talking about how you can either push against some natural tendencies or learn to use them. An example was transforming grass from what is to us a distraction into a reinforcer that we can use effectively. This led us on to a discussion of rope handling.

Episode 60: Sarah Owings Pt 4: The Dance of Cues

We’ve come to the last installment of our conversation with Sarah Owings. In the previous episodes we looked at two different ways of thinking about building cues. In one the handler works hard to remove any body language hints. In the other the handler acknowledges that animals are super observant so she lets the cues evolve out of the shaping process. We ended the previous episode with this statement: "Our conversation has brought us to a milestone. We have reached this recognition that our animals are communicating to us and we can allow their behavior to modify ours." So now it’s time to see where these two different models for teaching cues takes us.

Episode 59: Sarah Owings Pt 3: Cues Evolve and So Do Our Ideas

Part Three of our conversation with Sarah Owings continues our discussion of cues - how our ideas have changed over time in how we teach them. We are now recognizing that our animals are communicating with us and it is ok to allow their behavior to modify ours. This is also true for cues, which can be part of a back and forth communication between teacher and learner.