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Avoid Rehearsal History

If you request something from an animal who fails to correctly perform the request, there is a low chance that requesting the same behavior in the same way in the same location will result in any different outcome. Whatever the antecedents were that lined up against the correct presentation are still in operation even if the consequence is not reinforcement. Immediate rehearsal history will also encourage the incorrect response. The only situation in which asking again in the same manner will result in a different response is if the animal simply did not hear and understand you, but even in that case the odds may be stacked against a correct response due to rehearsal and the antecedent conditions. Better options include: changing the environment, adding more information, changing the position of the animal and the trainer, and changing the behavior being requested to something easier and more likely. These changes can begin to set the animal on the path to reinforcement which will lead to further cooperation and the ability to revisit the problem behavior with a fresh mind. “The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.”

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