The Marshmallow Test: Doggy Edition

One piece of homework Rain and I worked on for agility this week was a dog version of the marshmallow test.

If you’re not familiar, the marshmallow test is shorthand for a psychology experiment around delayed gratification that was conducted at Stanford in the 1960s and 1970s. Young children were given a food reward (such as a marshmallow or cookie) and told that they could eat the item now or, if they waited until the giver left the room and returned, they could have two. In other words, small reward now, but larger reward later. Academically minded people have been extrapolating from this experiment for decades now.

Rain will do just about anything for a cookie, so it was interesting to see how quickly she picked this up. Here are some photos of our progress mid-week.




That’s right—I’m both monitoring the treats and taking photos. Rain’s a pro at this!


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