State Dependent Effects

Have you had the experience of thinking about what you want to get at the store, then when you get to the store, you cannot remember it? THEN, when you return home, to the place where you made the memory, you then remember it, or at least most of it! You will remember something best in the place you learned it. That is the way learning and memory works. When school children are allowed to take tests in the desk and room where they learned the material, they will do much better than students who have to switch desks or rooms. This is the nature of learning and memory, and it is call State Dependent Effects.

Now, how about your dog? Your dog has the same learning and memory capability as you do, so you can guess what happens. Yes, your dog will perform best in the place he learned the material. So what should you do? When your dog learns new things and appears to know them well, that is when you review what your dog has learned in different places in your house, and eventually you will review those things in stores, in your car, while in the checkout lane at Target, etc.–wherever your dog is. Like you would, your dog will start remembering his tricks in different places because you will rehearse him in different situations. That way, your dog will generalize his knowledge and serve you well as a future service dog!.