Expectancy: The anticipation or prediction of future events or outcomes based on past experiences.

Expectancy in the Play+ context is a multi-faceted concept that embodies a dog’s anticipation or prediction of future events or outcomes within a play session. It is driven by the SEEKING system, a fundamental brain system responsible for exploration, anticipation, and reward-seeking behavior.

  1. SEEKING: Expectancy harnesses the power of the SEEKING system, fostering a state of excited anticipation as the dog looks forward to the next action, reward, or interaction within the play sequence. It encourages the dog’s natural curiosity, exploratory behavior, and motivation to engage.
  2. Physical Pole: At the physical pole, expectancy is experienced as an emotional or physical tension – a readiness for action and engagement. It is expressed through alert body language, attentive focus, and energetic readiness to respond to cues or events.
  3. Intensity: The intensity of expectancy can vary widely depending on the dog’s arousal level, the context, and the perceived value of the anticipated outcome. High-value rewards, exciting play actions, or favored interactions can ramp up the intensity of expectancy, driving heightened engagement and enthusiasm.
  4. Subjective Tone: Expectancy influences the subjective tone – anticipation of the outcome can dramatically affect the Dog and Handler. Properly managed this positive emotional tone enhances the enjoyment and motivational value of play, fostering a positive feedback loop of engagement and reward.

In sum, expectancy in Play+ sets the stage for a dynamic, engaging, and mutually enjoyable play session, fueling the dog’s desire to participate and their anticipation of positive experiences.