In Play+, “Prehension” is a concept borrowed from the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. It refers to the process by which the dog perceives and interprets the cues and the actual world around it, including emotions and feelings from previous experiences. This perception and interpretation inform the dog’s actions and reactions within the training context.

Prehension involves two aspects:

  1. Physical Prehension: This refers to the dog’s direct sensory perception of the world, including its handler’s cues, the training environment, and other physical stimuli.
  2. Conceptual Prehension: This involves the dog’s interpretation of the data gathered through physical prehension, which is influenced by its past experiences, emotions, and feelings. This interpretation sets the dog’s Subjective Tone, influencing its engagement and performance in the training process.

In Play+, the aim is to create positive experiences and successful completion of behaviors that will influence the dog’s future prehensions. The dog’s understanding and interpretation of the cues and the actual world around it are continually updated and refined through each training experience, contributing to the dynamic and evolving nature of the dog’s learning process.

This concept of Prehension highlights the importance of acknowledging the dog’s individual perception and interpretation of its world, and incorporating this understanding into the training approach.