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Training in Approximations II

“Train as fast as you can and as slow as necessary.” This adage is a reminder not to plateau an animal by unnecessarily repeating too many of the same approximations before the animal arrives at the goal behavior. Another way I like to think about this idea is to say that a trainer should train FAST TO THE THRESHOLD of the behavior (the edge of the confidence of the animal) and SLOW AT THE THRESHOLD. This allows training to progress quickly through the confident approximations, but suggests a trainer should take more, smaller approximations at the edge of an animal’s confidence. This finessed approach enables the animal to develop confidence in a supported way through more information, rehearsal, and opportunity to eliminate any possible fears at the point where this may be needed.

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