Connect With Us:
Log in

The Bridging Stimulus - Making it salient

24 Aug 2019 7:46 AM | Louise Stapleton-Frappell (Administrator)

"Yay, you got it, that's exactly what I would like you to do!"

Whether in the past or in the present, we are all guilty of this "Yes, good girl, you are so good, what a good girl, you are amazing..."  It is so difficult not to be excited about the amazing responses our dogs offer us, but did you clearly mark the desired response so as to facilitate speedy learning?  Was your learner able to perceive the bridging stimulus amidst your excited praise?

Take a Breath!

I LOVE to hear enthusiastic praise but...

There should be a slight pause between the bridging stimulus and your praise.

For your dog to work out what he was doing and recognize which behavior he should repeat,  you will need to mark the desired response really precisely.  If using the word "yes" it needs to be 'short and sweet'.  A prolonged ‘yeeeeeees’ or a ‘good girl’ or ‘good boy’, just won’t cut it as they are too long.  They aren’t precise enough. Your dog will either not be able to work out the exact behavior you want, or he will take much longer to do so.  We aren’t saying that you can’t praise your dog, but we are saying that we want you to hold off on that praise until you have finished your set of five repetitions and delivered the last reward.

Endeavor to make sure that when praising your learner, the praise is part of your reinforcement strategy rather than something that overshadows your behavior marker. This will help your bridging stimulus be salient and clearly stand out from what could be considered distracting 'white noise'.

A clear bridging stimulus will facilitate speedier acquisition of behaviors as your learner is able to perceive the bridge and therefore understand that he has done the right thing. That particular response is the one that earns the reinforcer and is the one that should be repeated.

Please note:

  • The bridging stimulus should clearly 'mark' the exact criterion/behavior that you wish to be repeated
  • A verbal bridging stimulus, for example the word 'yes', should only be said once.
  • A clicker (or other marker) can also be used to mark the correct behavioral response instead of the word "yes".
  • You should not use both a clicker and a verbal bridging stimulus at the same time.

The Top Ten Dog Training Knowledge Concepts!

Add These Tools To Your Training Services and Support Your Clients Dog Training Knowledge!

  • As professional dog trainers and behavior consultants, we know that training a dog requires a combination of knowledge and mechanical skills; after all, dog training is a hands-on project.  
  • We also recognize that there are several ways to train a dog, lots of different methods, and many conflicting and varied philosophies about how training should be approached. 
  • Make it easy for your clients to choose you as a professional dog trainer, these 10 recordings can be used on your website, social media or in emails to promote the Top-Ten Knowledge Concepts. 
  • They can also be used to support lesson plans, homework emails and the transfer of important knowledge. 
  • The supportive eBook can be used to promote your services and your philosophy.
  • Ensure your skill training programs are supported with the necessary concept knowledge to help you help your clients train their dogs.

The Download includes:

  • 10 Individual short video files
  • 1 x 24 page eBook detailing each concept. This can be used on your website or forwarded to your clients
  • 1 x PDF of the full color PowerPoint slides

What Are The Top Ten Knowledge Concepts?

  1. #1 Your Best Decision    
  2. #2 +R Rocks       
  3. #3 “No!” isn’t a Behavior.           
  4. #4 Management for Success     
  5. #5 You’ve Got It
  6. #6 Your Training Gear    
  7. #7 The Training Steps     
  8. #8 What Will You Name It? 
  9. #9  Train-Test-Train
  10. #10 Practice Makes Perfect!

Purchase your download here.

 All content copyright 2017  DogNostics Career Center . All rights reserved.  

DogNostics is the sister company to and provides the key education for DogSmith Licensed professionals. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software