Celeste Patten on December 11th, 2017

I have a favorite essay that doesn’t get talked about much, but which I think is very timely as we enter the season of giving. “Creating a Culture of Abundance” is part of a collection titled On My Mind, Reflections on Animal Behavior and Learning published by the much-beloved Karen Pryor. The book was published in […]

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Celeste Patten on July 24th, 2017

C is for Consequence. In my previous two blog entries, we talked about antecedents, and then behavior.  Now it’s time to discuss the C in ABC — consequences.  I might be expected to get deep into the Four Quadrants of learning theory, various reinforcement schedules, and heated warnings against the use of punishers. But let’s […]

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Celeste Patten on June 13th, 2017

B is for Behavior Okay!  So in my last blog, we talked about antecedents.  Now it’s time to discuss the B in ABC — behavior. In the article referenced throughout this series, Dr. Susan Friedman says the following: “Behavior is defined as what an animal does in certain conditions, which can be measured. Hypothetical, psychological […]

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Celeste Patten on May 8th, 2017

This is the second in a series I have been doing on the ABC’s of behavior and training. Click HERE for a link to catch yourself up on the first bog.  By the end of the series, we will have gotten to the heart of the matter: consequences.  However, we will start at the beginning […]

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Celeste Patten on March 9th, 2017

Frustration is a powerful emotion.  We can let it cause us to do things we regret and over time, those actions can build tension into relationships and cause resentment.  This is troublesome enough in our relationships with people, but how does it creep into your relationship with your dog(s)?  Frustration is defined as the “feeling […]

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Celeste Patten on February 7th, 2017

Sometimes, a planned event takes on new meaning when those unplanned happen around it. This last weekend I had the privilege to attend an amazing three-day animal training conference.  Clicker Expo is often the highlight of my year.  This year, in the weeks leading up to the conference, the universe conspired to add a little […]

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Celeste Patten on January 6th, 2017

I don’t know about you, but when I get dressed in the morning I think about how my clothes look AND function. I know we all have that sweater that lives in the closet; we love the way it looks, but never wear it because we don’t like how it feels. Too itchy, too small, too […]

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Celeste Patten on December 10th, 2016

Alexandra Horowitz’s new book is entitled, “Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell.”  I picked up the book at our local Village Books after listening to the author at a reading. Some of you may remember Horowitz from her first book, “Inside of a Dog.”  Horowitz begins this book by saying, […]

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Recently, I was discussing an emotionally fragile dog with whom I was attempting to create a relationship. My friend asked if the dog was food motivated. This is, of course, a common question about a shy dog. However, the very nature of the question implies a misunderstanding of learning, motivation, and the subsequent use of food […]

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Celeste Patten on October 11th, 2016

It brings to mind deals done in dark smoke-filled back rooms by corrupt politicians. When parents use bribes they are often left feeling guilty, but I see my dog training clients use them all the time without seeing them for what they are. I am beginning to think people are confusing the mere presence of food with reinforcement […]

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