Interval Schedules In the Command Structure 5.0

Interval - The period of time between reinforcement.


  • Objectives
    • What is an interval schedule?
      • fixed
      • progressive
      • variable
    • What is easier when we teach ratio schedules first?
    • The compound schedule
    • How does it get us ready for duration schedules?

Go over examples of how interval training is used in:

  • Pet obedience
  • Competition obedience
  • Scent work
  • Bite work
Obedience Checklist 5.0
Obedience Chart 5.0
K9-1 command structure
Command Structure Chart

Behavior does need to be constant to receive the reward. Give an analogy.

Fixed Interval Schedule (FI)- Predictable period of time between reinforcement

FI-1 second (and CRF)

Behavior123
Time012345670123456 70123456 7
MarkerMM MMM M M MMM M M M M M M M M M M M M M M
RewardRR RRR R R RRR R R R R R R R R R R R R R R

Here we choose how long we will work on a single behavior, and we may prompt all that we want with the dog's "name" and the "command" anytime the dog needs prompting, and as long as the dog happens to be doing the behavior there will be a reward available after the marker on the schedule.

FI-2 seconds

Behavior123
Time012345670123456 70123456 7
MarkerM MM MM M M M M M M M
RewardR RR RR R R R R R R R

Progressive Interval (PI)- Time between reinforcement progressively increases

Behavior123
Time0123456780123456 780123456 78
MarkerM MM MM M M M M M
RewardR RR RR R R R R R

Variable Interval (VI) - Unpredictable period of time between reinforcement

VI-3 seconds

Behavior123
Time012345670123456 70123456 7
MarkerMM MM M M M M M
RewardRR RR R R R R R

Variable Interval Schedules are easy to work with because you use your judgment when the dog needs the extra communication that they are doing the right thing.

COMPOUND SCHEDULE - A schedule in which two or more individual schedules are combined

Here we have a VI-3 and VR-2

Behavior123
Time012345670123456 70123456 7
MarkerMM MM M M M M M
RewardR RR R R R

The big tip! Do not increase the interval schedule unless you have a high percentage of duration for the behavior between intervals.

Understanding intervals makes everything easier.

Protection training.

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