fearful dogs & DS/CC: how it works

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Training and Behavior

fearful dogs & DS/CC: how it works

This is a discussion on fearful dogs & DS/CC: how it works within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; . Dog-owners often wonder why in heaven's name i'd REWARD a dog who's barking at passersby... well, there could be several different reasons. 1, the ...

User Tag List

Like Tree7Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-03-2018, 08:53 PM
  #1
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boston metro-area, USA
Posts: 1,885
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Lightbulb fearful dogs & DS/CC: how it works

.


Dog-owners often wonder why in heaven's name i'd REWARD a dog who's barking at passersby...
well, there could be several different reasons. 1, the dog's owner *wants* this dog to bark at all strangers.
2, i'm teaching this dog to bark ON CUE - so i can then teach this dog to shut up. Installing the on switch comes 1st.
or 3 - & most-likely! - i'm not "rewarding the dog for barking". // I'm pairing Good Things with passing strangers...
& the simplest, most-basic, & fastest-to-deliver Good Thing happens to be a pea-sized tidbit of high-value protein.

The underpinning of associative learning is Pavlov -
associations are emotional, they're all about feelings -- not rational, logical, or deeply-thoughtful, conscious cerebral choices, but messy, irrational, illogical FEELINGS.
Like a favorite color or taste in music, falling in love, or a preference in ice-cream flavors, emotions are highly individual, powerful, & not fully-conscious.

When we pair Good Things with a [current] trigger, we attempt to CHANGE the emotion associated with that trigger.
By changing that 'feeling', we will change the behavior that is manifested in the presence of the trigger - but we need to change the feeling 1st. The behavior changes *after* we succeed in changing the emotion which "labels" that trigger, as nice, bad, scary, intensely exciting, killable, or whatever it might be.

And, once the original feeling is successfully replaced by a new, preferable emotion [nice instead of scary, calm & alert instead of wildly excited...], the trigger has become a FORMER trigger.

Here is Trish King, explaining fear in dogs -


Fear, like other emotions, is primarily in the reptile brain - the oldest & least-sophisticated portion, which in humans is way-down near the brain stem. In dogs, it's not buried under so much neocortex. But dogs, like humans & other nonhuman animals, both feel & think.
We know this - beyond any shadow of doubt - because we can see it happen, in real time; in an fMRI, or in the circulatory changes in a dog's living brain when blood flow to active areas increases, & blood flow to areas not in use ATM slows down.

- terry

.
leashedForLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 09:16 PM
  #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: With Bob
Posts: 234
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
The problem and lacking with this theory is when a dog is above threshold and exhibiting reactive fearful seemingly aggressive behavior e.g. dog barking at stranger, 9 out of 10 dogs have absolutely ZERO interest in a pea sized morsel of food much less a 10 lb rib roast right in front of their face.

DS/CC is generally only successful when applied before the dog has reacted to the trigger and still below threshold.

Ask most anybody with a reactive fearful dog how much interest their dog has in a food treat when the dog is over threshold.

Trying to shove a treat in an over-threshold reactive fearful aggressive dog's mouth will probably result in the handler getting bit.
Bob The Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 06:56 AM
  #3
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boston metro-area, USA
Posts: 1,885
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Arrow one simple protocol: Treat & Retreat

.

the label 'Treat & Retreat' was coined by trainer Susan Clothier - it's a simple protocol that was used with great success by the Washington [D.C.] Animal Rescue League, commonly known as WARL, in their own shelter - by any interested citizen who came in to look at the dogs.
If passersby off the street can use it to very good effect, just by reading simple signage, this is a practically goof-proof process. Kids over the age of 7 can also do this, with an adult to supervise. *

This is Ian Dunbar, DVM, talking about the 1st time he inadvertently used it, in a tense situation:
a client with an Akita who had a bite-history ignored his specific directions that her dog be CONFINED, & he found himself in a narrow hallway, facing an angry, growling dog who'd never met him before - with nowhere for either of them to go.

https://www.dogstardaily.com/training/retreat-treat

- terry


*: Y have an adult monitor? - because this is a spooky dog. Anything could startle her or him. The grown-up watches for panic or alarm in the dog, which a child might not see.

.
leashedForLife is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 02-04-2018, 08:53 AM
  #4
Senior Member
 
revolutionrocknroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,800
Mentioned: 161 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob The Dog View Post
Ask most anybody with a reactive fearful dog...
Actually, for some reason, you seem to oppose a lot of what people on this forum who DO have a lot of experience with reactive and fearful dogs say is the best way to work with them.

What leashedforlife described is 1) exactly the method that top professionals that work with fearful dogs recommend- Debbie Jacobs, Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, etc. and 2) a well known principle of learning theory that anyone with a basic knowledge of psychology should be able to understand.



I have a fearful rescue dog and since adopting her I've consulted with a trainer who specializes in anxiety and fear in dogs, I've gone to a Debbie Jacobs seminar (an internationally renowned trainer known specifically for her work with fearful dogs), and have taken a reactive dog class and joined a meetup support group for owners of fearful and reactive dogs. CCing is the primary method people use (including me) to work with these dogs and it usually works very well. Not to mention I majored in animal science focusing on behavior and learning theory and worked with dogs professionally for 7 years, so I have the education as well as the experience.

You are correct, you DO have to be careful to not let the dog get over threshold. You need to start treating the dog the second it notices the trigger. The treats need to be paired with the trigger and ideally before it gets close enough to the dog to cause it to freak out. If you treat BEFORE the dog notices the trigger, instead of associating the trigger with good things, it may be associate the treat with bad things that are going to happen, and this can cause anxiety. So the dog HAS to notice the trigger BEFORE you start feeding it treats. Some dogs will have a reaction and start barking but unless they're having a full blown panic attack, most will still take food at that point. If not, simply increase your distance and start farther away. When you first start working with a dog, there may be some trial and error and setbacks before you really get to know the dog and are able to predict how it's going to react to different situations. That's going to be true using any method though.



I just read an amazing book by Patricia McConnell called "The Education of Will." It's about her experience raising a genetically fearful dog, her own experiences with PTSD, and analyzes fear in both humans and dogs and how we recover from it. Many of her books are more practical and "sciency" but this one was written in the form of a memoir so it read more like a story. However there's still a lot of good science in it and a lot of observations about her own dog as well as the many clients she's worked with as a behaviorist. But it's very insightful and she describes several methods to help dogs get over their fears (as well as what helped her). CCing was a big one.
leashedForLife likes this.
revolutionrocknroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 09:33 AM
  #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: With Bob
Posts: 234
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by revolutionrocknroll View Post
Actually, for some reason, you seem to oppose a lot of what people on this forum who DO have a lot of experience with reactive and fearful dogs say is the best way to work with them.

What leashedforlife described is 1) exactly the method that top professionals that work with fearful dogs recommend- Debbie Jacobs, Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, etc. and 2) a well known principle of learning theory that anyone with a basic knowledge of psychology should be able to understand.



I have a fearful rescue dog and since adopting her I've consulted with a trainer who specializes in anxiety and fear in dogs, I've gone to a Debbie Jacobs seminar (an internationally renowned trainer known specifically for her work with fearful dogs), and have taken a reactive dog class and joined a meetup support group for owners of fearful and reactive dogs. CCing is the primary method people use (including me) to work with these dogs and it usually works very well. Not to mention I majored in animal science focusing on behavior and learning theory and worked with dogs professionally for 7 years, so I have the education as well as the experience.

You are correct, you DO have to be careful to not let the dog get over threshold. You need to start treating the dog the second it notices the trigger. The treats need to be paired with the trigger and ideally before it gets close enough to the dog to cause it to freak out. If you treat BEFORE the dog notices the trigger, instead of associating the trigger with good things, it may be associate the treat with bad things that are going to happen, and this can cause anxiety. So the dog HAS to notice the trigger BEFORE you start feeding it treats. Some dogs will have a reaction and start barking but unless they're having a full blown panic attack, most will still take food at that point. If not, simply increase your distance and start farther away. When you first start working with a dog, there may be some trial and error and setbacks before you really get to know the dog and are able to predict how it's going to react to different situations. That's going to be true using any method though.



I just read an amazing book by Patricia McConnell called "The Education of Will." It's about her experience raising a genetically fearful dog, her own experiences with PTSD, and analyzes fear in both humans and dogs and how we recover from it. Many of her books are more practical and "sciency" but this one was written in the form of a memoir so it read more like a story. However there's still a lot of good science in it and a lot of observations about her own dog as well as the many clients she's worked with as a behaviorist. But it's very insightful and she describes several methods to help dogs get over their fears (as well as what helped her). CCing was a big one.
I don't oppose " a lot of what people on this forum who DO have a lot of experience with reactive and fearful dogs say is the best way to work with them."...just one in particular.

The OP's original post suggested that rewarding a dog that is barking at a stranger due to fear is the route to take. I firmly believe this is incorrect and NOT what will DS/CC a fearful dog because just as you stated " You are correct, you DO have to be careful to not let the dog get over threshold." This is my point and many reading the advice given by the OP might allow their dog to get over threshold and then try and reward the dog. You are very correct with your thought "The treats need to be paired with the trigger and ideally before it gets close enough to the dog to cause it to freak out." and that means in a dog fearful of strangers, you need to apply the method before the dog is barking, growling, hackling, etc.

I don't disagree with one word in your post except this " What leashedforlife described is 1) exactly the method that top professionals..." because it was not described properly e.g. " i'd REWARD a dog who's barking at passersby..." IMO, it's too late and the teachable moment has passed most usually.

I've worked with many reactive dogs over the years and have used LAT and BAT methods and they work. Finding a dog's threshold is generally not the same from dog to dog neither is the triggering event. Most reactive dogs seem to react to the visual indication but others will light up due to specific sounds or a particular area which the dog has connected to it's phobias and perhaps the most difficult one to conquer is scent of an unseen dog triggering a reactive dog.

My disagreement of the advice " i'd REWARD a dog who's barking at passersby..." is because some people might take that advice and then go apply it and I will bet you in the vast majority of situations with a moderately to highly reactive dog, you will only exacerbate the problem. Also, as I mentioned many a reactive dog at that level of reaction or seriously ramping up like that will not even care for any food reward most generally.
Bob The Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 09:45 AM
  #6
Senior Member
 
revolutionrocknroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,800
Mentioned: 161 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
"Dog-owners often wonder why in heaven's name i'd REWARD a dog who's barking at passersby..."

I think you must have misinterpreted this then because she explains that she's not "rewarding" them, it's just what the average person thinks when they see someone treating a dog who is barking. She's saying that's how it appears to someone who doesn't understand counterconditioning, and she goes on to explain:

"i'm not "rewarding the dog for barking". // I'm pairing Good Things with passing strangers..."

A dog that's simply barking is not necessarily past their threshold. They can still learn and take food when they're reacting, as long as it's not a full blown meltdown/panic attack/shut down. And it usually isn't unless you screwed up bad and let the trigger approach too quickly or suddenly.
leashedForLife likes this.
revolutionrocknroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 09:45 AM
  #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 549
Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
These conversations are very interesting......I guess I've been lucky enough in that I havent owned a seriously reactive dog, other than one with serious fearful dog aggression which was somewhat reactive. On the other hand I learned a ton from owning my one seriously soft dog, so I cant help thinking that those who have made serious progress with their very reactive dogs have learned some really important lessons about dogs in general. As screwed up as this sounds, it makes me want to work with a reactive dog as a learning experience. Lord I'm a glutton for punishment lol
Sthelena is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 10:04 AM
  #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: With Bob
Posts: 234
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by revolutionrocknroll View Post

I think you must have misinterpreted this then because she explains that she's not "rewarding" them, it's just what the average person thinks when they see someone treating a dog who is barking. She's saying that's how it appears to someone who doesn't understand counterconditioning, and she goes on to explain:

"i'm not "rewarding the dog for barking". // I'm pairing Good Things with passing strangers..."


A dog that's simply barking is not necessarily past their threshold.
And many times they are, so which side of the equation do you want to be on?

Generally, a reactive dog will exhibit other indications before it barks as its reactivity is heightening. I'll employ DS/CC at the very FIRST indication rather than wait until it is barking. IME, before a reactive dog vocalizes its fear aggression it will change it's gait, carry its tail different, change the position of its head and ears, change its breathing pattern, change its normal visual scanning patterns etc. This is when I have had best success beating the dog to the punch and getting the most out of DS/CC.

I didn't misinterpret anything, we just see it differently and you are basing your opinion on one or maybe two dogs and I am basing my opinion on numerous dogs over the years. FWIW, a dog vocalizing is much higher up the ladder of dog aggression as it comes to fruition.

How about we just agree to disagree and you allow your dog to bark before you intervene with your DS/CC application and I'll continue to initiate DS/CC methods well before they vocalize their fear posturing aggression.
Bob The Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 10:20 AM
  #9
Senior Member
 
revolutionrocknroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,800
Mentioned: 161 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
How about we just agree to disagree and you allow your dog to bark before you intervene with your DS/CC application and I'll continue to initiate DS/CC methods well before they vocalize their fear posturing aggression.
Holy freaking crap dude, neither I nor leashed said we wait until our dogs start barking to begin counter conditioning. I specifically said I start CCing as soon as she notices the trigger. And I can take her out in public now without her barking at all, which wasnít the case when I first adopted her.

However, when youíre working with a reactive dog, yes they may start barking in the process, thatís just reality. And when the average person sees you treating a dog thatís barking, they donít understand. Most people will say you should correct it. Leashedforlifes post is explaining why she chooses to use this method, even if the dog does start barking.

I get that you have a personal vendetta against this member for whatever reason, that doesnít mean counter conditioning isnít a legit behavior modification technique.
leashedForLife likes this.
revolutionrocknroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:55 PM
  #10
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Boston metro-area, USA
Posts: 1,885
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Question contingencies: What must be present? [as opposed to DONE: B-Mod is not 'training']

.

I want to add that if i were literally "giving rewards for BARKING", i'd either reward every bark [e-g, if teaching 'speak'], or i'd reward barks in a specific context -
say, only barks at strangers approaching the house, if i wanted either an intruder alarm, or a visitor alert.

But as 99% of the time, it's actually DS/CC, the contingency that produces Good Things is the presence of the trigger.
No trigger?... no goodies, whether those are tidbits, tug, a flirt-pole, or whatever the contingent Good Thing.
Trigger is present? -- Good Things rain down! "I think i like strangers!..."

During B-mod, we require no specific behaviors of the dog AT ALL - the dog is present; the trigger is either present, or absent.
Aside from breathing & a pulse, nothing whatever is asked of the dog; the handler is the one we require apropos actions from, not the dog. // The handler is responsible for keeping the dog under threshold, noting the departure or arrival of the trigger, offering the Good Things, & shutting off the flow of Good Things, as needed.

I cannot emphasize enough that this is NOT training; training teaches cued behaviors.
B-Mod alters emotional responses.



It takes a few [~2 to 3] short sessions to establish a dog's baseline, in a given setting - that's 45-secs to maybe 2-mins, total.

Having determined that, we can proceed very predictably in that setting, as triggers come & go; always at a distance or intensity that keeps the dog under threshold, & keeping the Rate of Reinforcement high. // That's another weak-spot for most APOs: they give a single tidbit... & wait, 5-seconds, 10-seconds... in the meanwhile, their dog is getting more anxious & losing focus; their split-second gratification from the tidbit is long gone, the trigger is still here, & what the H*** are we doing, hanging around here?!?!?!... Let's GO!...
Their dog's climbing the slope to a meltdown, & they're standing there observing, rather than feeding. Oops.


the Holy Trinity of training:
timing Ė criteria Ė Rate of Reinforcement
https://awesomedogs.blog/2014/01/25/...rk-for-my-dog/

An excellent article by Yvette van Veen, a crossover trainer in Ontario, Canada.
thank U kindly, Yvette.


- terry

.
leashedForLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Tags
counterconditioning, desensitization, heritable, learned, timidity

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Am. Pit Bull Terriers (info post) SpicyBulldog General Dog Discussion 28 10-27-2017 11:55 AM
Help, I'm begging! - Can anyone tell me *where* this bizarre myth originated? leashedForLife Dog Training and Behavior 5 10-04-2017 11:32 AM
Emotional Support Animals, Therapy Dogs, and Service dogs kmes Training and Behavior Stickies 0 07-10-2017 11:15 AM
Our doodle dogs GitaBooks General Dog Discussion 27 11-30-2015 07:56 PM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.