Sharing a blog post that I found most interesting. What if your dog runs out into traffic?
Dogs are constantly forming emotional associations that inform their decisions. Is it safe, unsafe, dangerous, good, bad or neutral ? This associative learning is also called classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning, named after Ivan Pavlov, the Russian scientist who accidentally discovered that dogs learn through association.
All animals learn through classical conditioning, all the time. Some associations can be quite helpful or simply benign. For example, if a dog enters the Ottawa Canine School for the first time and I offer him a fun toy to play with, the dog will likely associate the training school as a safe, good and fun place.