Psycho Babble Terminology
The Stuff That Makes Dog Training Sound Hard
OK so a client was asking about the ABC’s of dog training… He obviously has been doing some extra credit reading on the old subject of dog training, because the ABC’s of dog training are really a pneumonic used to describe the learning theory ideas of the Antecedent, Behavior and Consequence and they are all part of Functional Behavioral Assessments to describe, predict and identify said behaviors… OK so what does all this mumbo jumbo mean…
Well loosely defined
·         Antecedents are really nothing more than the something that happens before something else… Think of it as a precursor to what comes next or a predictor.
·         Behavior is well what happens next the specific item you are looking at or into…. That comes after the Antecedent.
·         Consequence is well the reason the behavior is either repeated or not repeated… It is the “what” that leads us back to the Antecedent to start the cycle again…
For example why does the dog bark (behavior) because the doorbell (the antecedent) and it happens each and every time because of the attention Fido gets from the folks ringing the doorbell… If however the consequence is unpleasant the behavior will extinguish!
OK all we are really saying here is that there is always a sign or a predictor that tells us a behavior is coming  and that there is also a reason why we continue to do something or stop doing something… So if we get good enough predicting the things that come before a specific behavior and learn how to make a behavior either more pleasurable or more unpleasant, we can in essence control a subjects those actions…
In all reality like most learning theory, whether the 4 quadrants or now the ABC’s these are just fancy words to describe the things our very own parents understood instinctively! So get the basic idea and then sit down and think about a behavior in your pooch you don’t like and then write down a plan to fix it and do it… The nice part of dog training is you will never have to take a test on Psychology or Learning Theory…
 All you will have to do is train your dog and maybe if you’re lucky even your kids J
Mike Deathe
Owner KISS Dog Training

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