This page is a component of the Glossary of the Dog Science, CBC
Dog Training Workshop, and an element of the Dog Science Network
Happenstance Training - also known as Incidental Training
Happenstance training is a reactive approach in which you wait for your dog to do something forbidden, then, you respond by making him feel upset, so that he will come to associate emotional upset with that particular bad behavior. By pairing one with the other, you can cause your dog to develop an aversion to engaging in the forbidden behavior again in the future.
At the same time you are doing that, you wait and watch for your dog to engage in any of those behaviors that you would like to encourage. When he does, you take steps to make sure that he feels good, so that he will come to associate good behavior with positive affect.
It is through happenstance training that your dog becomes socialized, and develops your sense of right and wrong. Beyond a doubt, happenstance training is the most surefire way there is to grow a dog that will be a joy to live with.
The terms incidental training and happenstance training are synonymous.