Nov 28, 2004, 4:54 AM
Post #6 of 8
You are most welcome ...
Re: [Wolfie] Keeping a 13 year old in line
[In reply to]
Just in case you didn't manage to check out the other thread ... these are the basic steps towards reconditioning/desensitising ...
Summarised from "The Cautious Canine"
by Patricia B. McConnell
... here are the basic steps:
Keep your dog safe. Until you start reconditioning - try and avoid all situations that bring about the undesired trait ...
Continually pulling or tugging on leash, using choke chains etc ... doesn't really help ... and might actually increase stres in the dog. When exposed to a fearful situation, even if nothing happens, the tugging and pulling will just teach Hazel to be more fearful.
Find out what triggers your dog? ... Is it all dogs or just some dogs? (this is the bad)
Find out what your dog LOVES (the good) - and is so passionate about, he will do anything for ... whether it's liver treat or a tennis ball ...
Then you need to combine the "good" & "bad" together ... Create a situation where a low intensity of bad and met with a high intensity of good.
For example: A piece of liver under your dog's nose (high intensity good) while a strange dog is still far away (low intensity bad).
The key here is to give the high intensity good BEFORE the low intensity bad appears.
So, if you have determined that your dog gets aggitated by another dog at 50ft, then give the treat at 60ft, just BEFORE the strange dog appears. Continue giving treats after the strange dog appears. End the exercise before your dog gets aggitated.
You may need to get a friend with a dog to help recreate the scenario required for the above.
Repeat again and again ...
Carry out sessions in different environments, under differnt conditions, at different times. Err on being conservative. Take it slow. Once you are quite sure Hazel is comfortable with strange dogs at 50ft ... then take the next step.
Reverse the trigger ... For step 5, the treat is given AFTER the bad appears and Hazel remains comfortable.
When the strange dog appears at 50ft ... and your dog is comfortable, then give the treat and continue giving treats, and then move away.
This is classical conditioning.
Done consistently, the dog learns to associate the strange dog (the bad) with the high intensity treat (the good) ...
In classical conditioning, the dog is taught to react to the bad in the same way as it reacts to the good.
Repeated often enough - your dog will start seeing the strange dog as a walking piece of liver ... ...
Repeat again and again in different environments.
Increase the intensity of the bad ...
In this final stage, gradually increase the intensity of the bad as the good is given.
For example ... If your dog get anxious with another dog at 50ft, start giving treats when the other dog is at 60ft and continue giving treats as the strange dog gets closer and closer ... But before your dog gets aggitated, move away.
Repeat and repeat, slowly reducing the distance between your dog and the strange dog.
One method is to hold out the treat at 60ft, focus your dog's attention on the treat ... Hold out treat as other dog moves closer and just before your dog gets aggitated at 50ft ... give the treat (and continue giving treats) - distract your dog's attention away from other dog ... Move away before the intensity of the treat wears out ...
- The training never ends ... and usually has to be reinforced from time to time ... At sign of any regression, be prepared to back up and repeat.
- Act conservatively ... better to over train and under train.
- Carry out training in different environment with different dogs.
- Don't sweat the small stuff ... don't expect to be perfect all the time.
- Keep the sessions short and up beat.
*** Once you understand the basic principle of reconditioning/desentising ... you can modify the above method to suit your individual circumstances & dog ...
Wishing you many many good days with Floyd ...
(This post was edited by surchinmy on Nov 28, 2004, 5:02 AM)