Introduction to Concepts

Bridge & Target® Training Information

What is SATS?

SATS = State of the Art Training Systems. It also stands for the Syn Alia Training System. Bridge and Target is an element of SATS, like English is an element of communication, but there are many other aspects of training as well. There is Perception Modification, Motivation, Analysis, Planning, Management of Emotions, Record Keeping, Reliability Testing, Randomization, Management of Reinforcers, Terminology, Body Language, Voice and more.

What is Bridge and Target?

Bridge and Target is a way of communicating with animals that does not require spoken language, but which allows you to teach spoken words to your animals. It is based on bridges, which are signals which tell the animal that he has been successful, and on targets, which are contact points which we ask the animal to touch, in order to either move him or part of him, or to focus his attention to give him more information. Sometimes the targets even have information embedded in them.

What is the Intermediate Bridge?

There are two kinds of bridge: the Terminal and the Intermediate. The Terminal Bridge tells the animal when he has successfully completed the trainers request. The Intermediate Bridge tells the animal that he is not finished yet, but he is headed toward successful completion. There are at least ten different ways to use this simple but powerful tool, and it reduces training time by up to 75%.

What is Perception Modification?

Perception Modification is a process of changing the way an animal looks at something. For example, if he is afraid of water, we can help him to learn to like water. If he likes to chase cars, we can teach him not to like to chase them. This powerful tool is a bit complicated to learn, but is well worth the trouble and has saved many dog’s lives.

How can we have Two-Way Communication with animals?

Two-way communication is possible if we do two things:

Make information clear to animals.
Give animals a way to make information clear to us.

In a matter of minutes, it is possible to teach any animal the two kinds of bridge, how to target, and a couple of concepts (like left and right, up and down, wait and go…). Then we can give animals specific ways to signal the same information back to us.

Bridge and Target Training:
Beyond Behavior Modification

Read the article here

The Target Pole
The Target Pole
The two finger target
(two fingers used to make target distinct from normal point or casual hand position)
The Target Pole
How it looks from the trainer’s position
The two finger target
How it looks from the horse’s perspective
The two finger target