Rate of Reinforcement is one of my soapbox topics. There are essentially three things necessary for an animal to learn a new behavior – good timing, motivation, and achievable criteria. Rate of reinforcement will tell you if one of those three things is not in place.
You should strive to have a high rate of reinforcement during the training process. It will necessarily go down when you raise your criteria, but you should have it back up within just a few trials. This is the mark of a good trainer – you are setting achievable criteria! This speeds the learning process and creates a behavior with a solid foundation.
Here’s a short audio clip where I’m explaining how to do rate of reinforcement with loose leash walking.
- How We Learn (socyberty.com)