To help explain or understand, what reward history is, let me give you a couple of examples before we apply this to the dog training world:
Let’s say, you are planning a vacation and it’s still a ways away, but looking at the pictures of your destination and planning the details makes you smile and your mind already goes on a little vacation, every time you think about it. Maybe you have visited the same place in the past and have fond memories, that produce happiness and hope for another great trip.
Another comparison is the countdown to Christmas and we are almost there. Preparing for a holiday and looking back at all the great times you have had in the past will fill you with the hope, that the next celebration is going to be as special as the past ones.
Here is, how it relates to the dog’s brain:
Reward history is, how often your dog has received rewards over a long period of time. Reward history generates hope in dogs. Hope is an actual physiological sensation that the dog experiences. The anticipation and expectation of a reward are causing the brain to make the dog feel rewarded before or even without an actual reward being dispensed. At some point in training your dog, you won’t have to dispense a reward each and every time.
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