Dog Forum banner
21 - 30 of 30 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I doubt it is all temperament. It probably is a lot of things coming together. Dad is Mr. Fun where pretty much nothing bad happens and has his own schedule, expectations, and experiences built in. So, when you think of it like that, not so surprising; right?

That's the thing though, bad things did happen with my dad, and he was the one to introduce our pup to dogs in the first place.

When our dog was displaying reactivity for the first few months, my dad brought him to the dog park nearly everyday for weeks to "socialize" him.

Except our dog showed all the signs of "shutting down". When he couldnt move away because other owners wouldnt call their dogs, he would just stand there with his Tail tucked, body hunched and close to my dad, not moving, when he couldn't escape friendly dogs sniffing or wanting to play with him, and those were the "good interactions". Not even getting into the many bad interactions he had with aggressive dogs chasing him where he had to run away. Almost the equivalent of "flooding" basically.

It took weeks before our dog started showing the faintest of interest with the friendly dogs where he would sniff back. By some miracle it developed into him displaying friendly language to the point he would go back to the dogs that stopped chasing him if they were doing it in a playful manner. Now, he sometimes runs up to dogs, seemingly gauding then to chase him, or he just sniffs them constantly. Rudely perhaps, but not aggression.

My point is that my dad gets away with ignoring our dogs body language. I've never forced interactions and move away at the sign of uncomfortability, and in general do a better job at respecting our dogs body language.

And this was also the first 6 months of us having him? So the bond wasn't nearly as strong when this stuff happened since we didn't do as much vigorous play back then due to his young age.

I guess that's the "surprising" part.

I should also note our dog is still reactive with my dad, just noticeably less so. He's reactive in our neighborhood, and outside of it he has been reactive with my dad on leash. It's been a while since he's taken him outside of our neighborhood for a walk and not using the car though.



Maybe to bump your training up, try a multi-pronged approach. I'm immensely fond of Kikopup's "Check It Out" game/video. There is also the game by a trainer who's name escapes me atm, who has a game similar to Kikopup's. However, the timing and handler involvement is different. It boils down to making little changes to the environment and rewarding the dog for showing initiative to investigate. You as the handler DO NOT encourage the dog to check the oddity out. You reward them for ALREADY showing their OWN initiative in exploring. For example, I laid the vacuum down on it's side and then "cheated" by placing treats on and around it--removing my presence from the equation as much as possible while still observing. When my girl explored it on her own, she discovered "good things." Small and random as it is, it helps build optimism, independence, and confidence.
Ah yeah, I've heard of a similar method and it had a name that escapes me atm. One thing though, from a distance my dog sometimes has a tendency to stare at a dog or person, especially if they are the lone person in a vacant area. So if I were to start moving in the direction of what they're staring at, they would keep moving toward it, keeping up the gaze. If I move away they are still staring, not wanting to move and I have to redirect him somehow.


I've never actually tested what happens if we just kept going towards the source of his gaze. But since I know he's reactive and his body language is rigid I've never taken it further. The thing is he has the same rigid body language when he sees the kids he likes in the neighborhood and when he sees a stranger. I only find out if its friendly or not if I go close enough and I'll either see a high tail raise or a friendly tail wag.

So according to this method.. should I just follow him when he's like that since he's showing "interest"?

Also, placing the treats near something he's uncomfortable with.. at what point does that cross into "bribery" territory? Seems like the line is a bit blurred.





Which brings me to another point. What is the timing of your cc/dc sessions generally? Are the treats for looking but being calm? Not looking? Looking but then looking at you? Are you focusing in place or moving? Timing can radically change things.
So, I use my marker word when he looks at a dog or person, and then he looks back at me, and I reward.

This is the method that I've incorporated as instructed by my trainer.

Only the past month or two I've also been trying to see him make the right choice, looking back at me or elsewhere, ignoring the dog when he sees them, and I reward.

I do a combination of both moving and in place.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
I'm squeezing this in on a break, so I'll come back. But to explain the difference in timing and previous knowledge....

Showing a dog or puppy a reward that doesn't know "come" to bring them to you, where you mark as you reward, is a lure.

Rewarding a dog that was playing but then came to you, you mark and reward, is a capture.

For every step a dog comes closer and is rewarded for each advancement is shaping.

Calling "come" and the dog comes, and is then rewarded, is simply a reward.

Calling "come" multiple times, the dog ignores you AND has had this cue generalized, you reaching into your pocket and waving a cookie around while saying "come" for the nth time is a bribe.

So in my case it was her discovering good things.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
One could argue your dad did a badly run Constructional Aggression Treatment (CAT), authored by Kellie
Snider and Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz. I'm skeptical of it, but I do think it has its values when facing unconventional dogs. But I do urge you to read the proper author(s) works.

Just because you can get away with something doesn't mean you ought. Personally, I'd try to focus his attention on me while moving forward. If we can, take a side route. But I've used spinning in a circle with a short leash and jogging before. So, for example, if we need to go towards something he is keying in on, we're gonna jog and play a jog-heel-jog game. If we are at a corner yard with another example, for experience, while we do it whenever the attention wanders, we're suddenly doing tight spins. But that is me.


He seems to key in visually. Is hearing part of it? But either way, how about practicing for success, getting him in "the groove" with something less stimulating?

He's not for everyone, but Zak George's video series "reality dog training" can make you feel better--that even pros can have challenges and make mistakes.

And the name I couldn't remember from earlier is Julie Andrews.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
One could argue your dad did a badly run Constructional Aggression Treatment (CAT), authored by Kellie
Snider and Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz. I'm skeptical of it, but I do think it has its values when facing unconventional dogs. But I do urge you to read the proper author(s) works.

Just because you can get away with something doesn't mean you ought. Personally, I'd try to focus his attention on me while moving forward. If we can, take a side route. But I've used spinning in a circle with a short leash and jogging before. So, for example, if we need to go towards something he is keying in on, we're gonna jog and play a jog-heel-jog game. If we are at a corner yard with another example, for experience, while we do it whenever the attention wanders, we're suddenly doing tight spins. But that is me.


He seems to key in visually. Is hearing part of it? But either way, how about practicing for success, getting him in "the groove" with something less stimulating?

He's not for everyone, but Zak George's video series "reality dog training" can make you feel better--that even pros can have challenges and make mistakes.

And the name I couldn't remember from earlier is Julie Andrews.
When we have nowhere to go and have no choice but to pass the dog/human, I do something similar but I already have the treat out, and he just stares at it and ignores whatever we pass by until he gets it. I dont think it would work otherwise. Do you think this is advisable? Running/jogging does seem to do the trick when getting his attention and we are trying to move away. I haven't tried it when we are passing a likely reactive source though.




Not sure I understand what you mean when you're asking if hearing is a part of it?

Great video btw. It reminded me to refine my technique a bit more since sometimes I'm not quick enough on the draw, or wait too long for him to look back at me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,267 Posts
For some dogs, just hearing the jingle of keys or dog tags is enough to make them hyper-alert. I was asking whether this applied to him, or if hearing but not seeing was enough to keep him under the threshold.

I would advise trying to combine them--hold out the treat while jogging/running past. If you can make it stinky like sardines or dried sprat, bonus points imo. I've also seen people do that, but dog starts huffing, they about turn, backtrack, then about turn and approach again.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
For some dogs, just hearing the jingle of keys or dog tags is enough to make them hyper-alert. I was asking whether this applied to him, or if hearing but not seeing was enough to keep him under the threshold.


I would advise trying to combine them--hold out the treat while jogging/running past. If you can make it stinky like sardines or dried sprat, bonus points imo. I've also seen people do that, but dog starts huffing, they about turn, backtrack, then about turn and approach again.
Honestly, it depends. When we are outside, if we pass by a house with a dog barking but he doesn't see them, he'll be a bit spooked, maybe looking around for the source, but he won't react. If it's far away, he'll be alert, but nothing where his body language is rigid or anything.

He doesn't like the sound of dog tags though, and will react. The sound only really comes from our neighborhood dog next door but if he hears another dog tag he'll react.


We've been using the running away method lately.

Not sure if it's coincidence but he's been moving away with his tail tucked more often with some dogs (most of the time off leash and/or large) moving towards us.

I mean, at least it's not a reactive episode? I can't tell just yet, but possibly this behaviour of moving away is starting to replace staring then having an episode? Again, not sure. But I do feel like before he would have just stared and be on the verge of reacting in some of the instances weve had lately.

Some of these off leash dogs end up following us despite us creating a fair distance. One time a dog came out of nowhere rushing up to me just focused on my bag of treats, i let go off my leash..my dog was nervous initially (tail tucked) but then he just ended up sniffing the dog and around him while I waited for this dogs owner. Eventually the dog chased mine and it looked like how he's chased when my dad is with him and encounters another dog hm.

Again, not ideal, but a month something similar happened and this dog was only a few meters away as well unlike the other encounter. but he reacted and I had to grab ahold of his leash.



Ive been doing more c/ds training lately, and maybe things are improving, if by an infinitesimal amount.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
We've been using the running away method lately.

Not sure if it's coincidence but he's been moving away with his tail tucked more often with some dogs (most of the time off leash and/or large) moving towards us.
I'm glad to hear you've managed to find a route toward fewer reactive episodes.

With regards to running away, have you tried turning it into a game? Teaching rapid direction changes / switch and run (without other dogs around) could improve confidence by helping to dissociate the behaviour from 'running away' and instead turn it into the 'chase-my-person game', which can then become a tool to teach approaching other dogs (by rapid switching directions back and forth while gradually getting closer to the scary thing).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I'm glad to hear you've managed to find a route toward fewer reactive episodes.

With regards to running away, have you tried turning it into a game? Teaching rapid direction changes / switch and run (without other dogs around) could improve confidence by helping to dissociate the behaviour from 'running away' and instead turn it into the 'chase-my-person game', which can then become a tool to teach approaching other dogs (by rapid switching directions back and forth while gradually getting closer to the scary thing).
No I haven't but I should. Your definitely right. I ahad some concerns to begin with regarding "teaching" him to be more scared of the dog by using the method, especially when we see a dog coming towards us with no escape than to turn back or pass through and he's not even at the stages of being reactive yet. But that would relieve said concerns.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
That would be bribery, not training. Treats should be out of the dog’s sight (if not out of smell). In a bag/pocket or, if all else fails, behind the owner’s/trainer’s back.
If there's a difference between holding a treat behind one's back and holding a bowl 3 feet above the floor, I'm not seeing it. They have a great sense of smell. And even if their noses were on vacation, they've seen that pouch before, they know what's in it.

www.simplypsychology.org/positive-reinforcement.html

"The concept of positive reinforcement is associated with the work of behaviorist psychologist B. F. Skinner. As part of his work during the 1930s and 1940s, Skinner considered ways in which behavior could be changed by treating someone differently based on what they did. This theory is known as operant conditioning. Positive reinforcement refers to the introduction of desirable or pleasant stimuli after the performance of a behavior. This reward can be used to further encourage that behavior, or change a pre-existing one ... A classic use of positive reinforcement is in animal training and behavior. The general adage of animal training is to reward positive behaviors, and ignore undesirable ones. It is important to note that positive reinforcement is not to be confused with bribery. Bribery happens when someone is given something in exchange for doing something that they otherwise would not do, before it happens.

In the Skinner box, the rat / pigeon randomly stepped on a lever and got rewarded ... there was no human intervention. That is a true "conditioned" respnse. But in typical "sit" training, is that really what's going on ? Not from what I have observed. The treats are often waved in the dogs face, more often that not owners are pushing the dogs butt down ... hiding them in a pouch isn't fooling the dog. Watch people training their dog to sit ... when they have that treat behind their back and the dog gets up on all fours or jumps, what do their owners do ? ... that treat goes right behind their back again, they're not fooled, dogs can smell. We have 5 floors in our 200 year old converted dairy barn that we all live in. ... 2 in the front, 3 in the back. One of my occasional late nite snacks, after leaving the office is tuna and crackers and at that time the 2 cats and 2 dogs are on the 5th floor with the wife. Before I get the can opener haf way around the can, I hear what seems like a team of Clydesdales galloping down 4 flights of stairs,and soon after there are 2 cats and 2 dogs in the kitchen, sitting and staring at me.

If you tell your kid that he can't play video games until he finishes his homework ...does that fit the definition of a positive reinforcement ? Under the above definition, as the reward (playing games) didn't come until after the kid finished his homework, it's positive reinforcement ... but did it ? Didn't he get what he wants (a commitment to play games) BEFORE he did the homework ?

[QUOTE ]You’ve lost me here. If they get into handbags moments over squeaky toys, you send them to their crates (presumably remove the toys?), and then the next day - after the incident is well and truly behind them, give them squeaky toys - how does that teach them they can have squeaky toys any time they want?[/QUOTE]

I said when they exhibit this behavior a cue is given to indicate "'unacceptable behavior, go to your crate." ... you said "you send them to their crates"
I said "The next day, each was give a squeaky toy .. " ... you said "next day - after the incident is well and truly behind them, give them squeaky toys"

When both have squeaky toys, there's nothing to fight over. Months later, squeaky toys are boring, both of them sit mostly undisturbed on the floor and when one does play with one, interest fades fast and the other doesn't give a hoot.

It’s like going to a restaurant and the maitre de standing over you while you eat, keeping tabs on every mouthful. Would you be comfortable? I certainly wouldn’t.
A more appropriate analogy would be when I was tending bar at a restaurant and customers chose to sit at the bar and have a meal, just 2 of us in the room so to speak, just like me and the dog, I'd stand there and talk to them .. when their glass was was empty I'd take it, walk over to the tap and fill it up again ... just like the empty dog dish. More importantly, having worked as a waiter and bartender, I have never had the experience of having a customer bite my hand when I took his glass or plate away. But when you do a web search on "attack child food" ya get more hits than ya can read in months

"a 1-year-old baby in Illinois was mauled to death by her family's dog when the girl crawled close to the dog's food "
"Why did my 4 yo husky attack & kill my puppy when she was eating? "

If only someone was nearby to prevent that from happening.

This is the context, I'm talking about. When you own or train large dogs, one has to take that responsibility a bit more seriously. In addition to food training, we also do touch training ... when the dogs jump up to cuddle on the couch, we stick fingers between their pads, hold their paws, hold their tails, stick fingers in and rub their ears ... no more hassles cutting nails, cleaning ears.... no reactions when children do the same. It's conditioning .... when owners grab the dogs paws and they experience it for the 1st time, pull the paw to an angle where they can see better, dogs fidget, they pull away ...after being conditioned not to fear the touch, no longer a 2 person job. They actually enjoy getting their ears cleaned ... when they snuggle up on the couch, they push their head under our hands for ear scratches.

It is, however, vaguely similar to the established practice of adding food to the bowl as the dog eats. Bowl never leaves the ground, dog doesn’t have to stop eating. Owner comes up, stoops, adds kibble/treats to the bowl, carries on. Like the waiter popping back with your dessert and then going to serve the family at Table
Well if we are going to go with the waiter analogy ... don't they take away the dinner plate before bringing the desert plate ? Again, context is important .. training (or better said "operant conditioning) is a process and the individual steps are important. The previous step is important.

""Feeding also involves, early on, giving the dog a small amount, picking up the bowl when empty and then giving them more, teaching that there's more where that came from. " "

I don't get upset when the waiter takes my empty plate away, because I know, he's going to come back with another plate. The dogs don't get upset either ... there's no resources to guard when you pick up an empty bowl. And no, the dog never had to stop eating. One doesn't move to that next step till the dog is conditioned to know that a bowl being picked up is a good thing. They are already conditioned to know that what goes up, immediately comes back down ... just as they learned to sit waiting to get a treat, they learned that bowl going up is a good thing. There's also some excitement ... we keep two 40 lb kibble bins, one contains kibble, one Instinct Brand's "Kibble + Raw" ... sometimes its the Kibble + raw, other times it's table scraps in the 2nd bowl. The 2nd bowl is usually "more interesting". Now we just mix the two kibbles, feed them the full bowl and then sit down to eat our own dinner. Older one eats a half bowl then waits to see if anything gets added after dinner table is cleared before finishing ... the younger is more patient ... she won't touch her bowl until after the dishes are washed. But when we leave the room, she'll go to her bowl and eat.

Resource guarding is an instinctual reaction to inadequate food resources ... we see it in all species, particularly in street dogs which have to compete for food. Resource guarding is a learned behavior which appears as a result of the dog becoming conditioned to know that if he does not react in a certain way and protect his food, he goes hungry. Condition them to know that food is always available for the asking ... and the guarding behavior fades.
 
21 - 30 of 30 Posts
Top