We developed an iOS application called “Fenzi Random Reinforcement” for the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Here’s the client’s description of the application:
The purpose of this app is to help dog trainers vary their choice of motivators and randomize their overall reinforcement schedule in preparation for a variety of dog sports competitions.
This app can randomize:
1) frequency of reinforcement,
2) duration of reinforcement period, and
3) choice of motivators (food, toys or praise).
Used on the “motivational” setting, you can build motivation and enthusiasm in dogs, or help acclimate dogs when you are generalizing your work to new locations.
Used on the “routine” setting, you can ensure that you aren’t developing a habit of rewarding on a fixed schedule that the dog will come to expect.
Used on the “Trial” setting, you can test your dog’s readiness to compete with out completely removing reinforcement.
Used on the “custom” settings, you can help prepare your dog for competition by reducing reinforcement on a randomized (but decreasing) reinforcement schedule
If you’re striving to randomize your reinforcement choices, this app makes that easy! Simply select the percentage of time that you wish to use food, toys or praise as a reward!
This app is not appropriate for randomizing rates of reinforcement for behaviors that are still being acquired, since a 100% reinforcement schedule is recommended in the learning phase.
Please note that the “duration of reinforcement” period includes the words used to start and end it. (For example, a setting of 10 seconds is closer to 8 seconds).