You don't have to learn all about the things Pavlov did to his dogs to measure their drool. You don't have to learn about what a rabbit and Santa Claus has in common.
All you need to do is train and dog or a cat. I was listening to Steve Kraske's Up To Date program on KCUR to/from lunch today, and I just chuckled about how much classical conditioning is involved with pets. It didn't help the Vet on the show actually used psycho talk such as variables, stimuli, association, control, and a lot more from my psycho classes.
With little tots, even before they begin to speak, they can associate feelings and behaviors with tone of voice then as they get older they can be reasoned with.
With our little companions, reasoning gets tossed out the window.
Details such as texture, how/when to give rewards (positive reinforcement), or to isolate them until the bad learned behavior is unlearned (negative reinforcement), consistancy, type of rewards, and introducing new compantions.
I chuckled through the whole thing.
Course, I'm also the guy who threatended to have LB stick his tongue out every single time he heard the word "Mom" too. :)