I have a long list of possible topics for this blog, and “Nothing in Life is Free” has been on the list for a couple of years now. This is an approach to dog training in which your dog has to work for everything, and I mean everything. He wants to go out the back door into your fenced yard? You make him sit or do something else on command, then you reward him by opening the door.
Well, I just came across a very interesting blog post by Kelly Gorman Dunbar about Nothing in Life Is Free. It’s called Is NILIF Nasty? and it makes a good case that often people speak of this method, abbreviated NILIF, when in fact what they mean is that if you require a dog to do something, like sit at the door, before he gets the reward of going outside, he will sooner or later make that connection and automatically sit at the door.
It turns out that NILIF uses this training principle (called the Premack Principle) to an extreme degree.
By the way, if you do click through on that link, you will be at one of the best — arguably THE best — dog training site online. Well worth browsing around! And it’s free.