Originally Posted by Lorib64
That sounds counter-intuitive. Nice to have it explained.
I've been rewarding my dog with praise & food when he does not react to other dogs.
I think his biggest reward is that we don't go close enough for him to start barking [or] lunging, & he's able to avoid/ leave the trigger.
He's calmer around other dogs, now. I don't expect him to be very social.
I got him at 9-MO, & don't know much [of his past] history. Am i limiting him?
It was interesting what you said about different size dogs.
My dog tends to bark at larger dogs. I guess the smaller ones don't scare him as much.
It's impossible to say at this remove, whether he could become more dog-social.
If i saw him IRL & watched his reactions to a few nonthreatening, sociable dogs, i might have a better feel for his prognosis.
The only difference between what U're doing & counter-conditioning is that DS/CC is noncontingent.
U are rewarding him for calm behavior; but if he's over threshold, or unable for whatever reason to be or become calm, he's not rewarded.
DS/CC is simply 'good things happen when the trigger appears'
- the trigger becomes a reliable PREDICTOR of Good Things. Anticipating a happy event
is what changes the dog's feelings about their nemesis.
Ideally, the dog never goes over threshold - but we can't control everything in life.
Strangely-dressed ppl walk down sidewalks, dogs we don't know pop out between parked cars, owners of dog-aggro dogs let them run off leash... stuff happens, & we just try to deal with reality as best we can.
A fluently-practiced, happy, emergency-U-turn is a good thing to have!
About face, & briskly get outta Dodge.