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Dog Training Workshop, and an element of the Dog Science Network
We experience the emotion we do as a result of things being paired together. That is the governing principle of classical conditioning.
For example, if you see to it that your dog suddenly feels anxious and upset every time he misbehaves, then, over time, the animal will come to associate emotional upset with misbehavior to such an extent that he will eventually reach the point that engaging in misconduct will, all by itself, make him feel so anxious that he will lose all interest in doing it.
In contrast, you can pair obedience training with walks in a natural setting that your dog loves, and thereby, create an association that will cause your dog to love doing obedience work.
That is why we say that in classical conditioning, behavior is the product of that with which it is associated.
Classical conditioning consists of a set of procedures that you can use to cause your dog to passionately love some things, while causing him to dislike certain other things so much that he will want to avoid them altogether.
Obviously, classical conditioning is potentially a powerful tool for anyone with a dog who could stand some improvement, because through that methodology, you can cause the animal to fall in love with the training process itself, and you can make him wild about the sound of certain words, like good dog. So much so, that thereafter, you can influence his behavior to an amazing degree, just by saying the words to him at the right time.
In contrast, you can use classical conditioning to cause your dog to want to avoid doing all the things that you do not want him to do. And you can take it a step further to condition your dog to hate the word no, and to dislike the sound of your unsettling voice so much that he will take extra care to behave well, just to avoid the possibility that you might say that word to him in that tone of voice.