Here is my cat, Alice, showing off her skills.
- Alice was trained with reward-based training methods – specifically, positive reinforcement.
- Positive reinforcement training consists of an animal receiving rewards for performing behaviors. Each reward reinforces, or increases, the frequency the animal will perform the behavior again in the future. The behavior worked for the animal, she received something of value, so she will be willing to try the behavior again.
- After a behavior has been rewarded multiple times, it can be paired with a cue to let the animal know when to do the behavior and when it will pay off to do it. The cue in this video is “Sit up.”
- Positive reinforcement training works for all animals (or at least vertebrates with a central nervous system), and zoos and aquariums use it to train their various species.
- In this video, Alice is rewarded with pieces of fresh chicken. Other rewards can be used as well including different types of food, treats, and toys.
- Training can be a fun activity to bond with your pets.
What cool behaviors have you trained your pets to perform?