I’ve talked far too much about positive reinforcement training, that I felt I didn’t need to make a post dedicated just to that (since all my posts pretty much are). Instead, I’ll talk about a primary reinforcer. The reinforcer is the reward during a training session.
“A primary reinforcement is anything the organism finds inherently rewarding – usually stimuli that satisfy biological drives such as hunger or thirst.”
A primary reinforcer is usually food. Animals inherently respond to food treats. It’s as simple as that. Just find something that the animal really enjoys eating as a treat. Some people who work with certain animals, like birds of prey for example, save their daily diet for training sessions. If your animal really enjoys their everyday meal, you can use that as training treats instead of additional food items. Some dogs really like their daily kibble. So instead of placing a dish down on the ground twice a day, you can use that daily kibble in training sessions. My dog doesn’t love her food that way, so with her, I use dried chicken cubes as treats. My dog LOVES chicken. A training treat should not be too big. It should be something the animal can eat in just a few seconds and be ready to move onto the next training cue. Unless you are “jackpotting” the animal, keep the treats small and quick to eat. You also don’t want them to add too much to your animal’s daily intake and cause them to gain too much weight.
© Semi Charmed Life
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge