Classical Conditioning (Learning by Association)
Classical conditioning is used by trainers mostly to create an association between a stimulus that normally would not have any effect on the animal and a stimulus that would.
This type of learning was made famous by Pavlov’s experiments with dogs.
In his experiment Pavlov presented dogs with food, then measured the amount of saliva they produced. He then began ringing a bell just before presenting the food.
At first, the dogs did not begin salivating until the food was presented, but after a while, the dogs began to salivate when they heard the sound of the bell.
They learned to associate the sound of the bell with the presentation of the food.
So to the dogs, the sound of the bell became equivalent to the presentation of the food, which caused an increased production of saliva in the dogs mouths.
An example of learning by classical conditioning:
Voice commands are not something the horse automatically understands, and responds to.
However if they are always followed consequences that cause the horse to canter, the animal can become conditioned to respond to the voice cue “canter”.