Tonawanda News — I would say that the organism that is exhibiting superstitious behavior is the human. They might subconsciously think in order to get their pet to come over, they need to first say their pet’s name, open their arms and pat their legs. Luckily, it’s an easy fix. The caregiver could say the pet’s name and see what happens. If the pet doesn’t need the other flamboyant arm motions, then the cue that the pet is following to come over is hearing their name. All the other things that caregiver is doing is extra and not necessary. Judging the behavior of perking up, and standing, I bet that animal was going to come over, due to hearing their name, if they were given just a few seconds longer to respond.
In the training world when we say a behavior is “finished” we say the behavior is under Stimulus Control. It must exhibit a few things for it to be under Stimulus Control. One is that once you cue the behavior the behavior you asked is followed immediately after. For example, you say the pet’s name and they come in a timely manner.
The second criterion is that the behavior is offered only when the behavior is asked. A caregiver is sitting on the couch watching television. The pet stays in the corner playing with a toy.
The third criterion is that is not offered in the presence of another cue. If the caregiver asks for the pet to roll over and they come to the caregiver’s side, then the behavior is not under Stimulus Control.
The last condition is that no other behavior occurs in response to the cue. If the caregiver says the pet’s name and they come — perfect. If they say the pets name and they bark and roll over then there is still some training that needs to be done.