Counter-conditioning is definitely more challenging with a reactive dog than with one who responds to stimuli with a normal level of intensity. Some of these revelations included my preference to work with aggressive and reactive dogs, as well as the often-forgotten fact that, like dogs, people tend … What is less known, is how the process of counter conditioning affects the neurological processing that leads to behavioral and emotional changes, be they towards the dog feeling less fear and stress, or perhaps a positive conditioned emotional response. When you are working with aggression and reactivity, the trigger (generally other dogs and/or people) is no longer a neutral stimulus to the dog. For Glia, I always walk and hike with high-value treats that can be used to distract Glia while passing another dog and/or to reward her for calm behavior while we pass. ... to desensitize, manage the environment to avoid provoking a full-blown reaction; remove the opportunity for the dog to exhibit reactive behavior. This program helps you keep your dog’s attention as you pass other dogs, as … I use this sometimes to get dogs started, especially if they are super reactive. In some cases, these dogs are reactive to all other canines, in others, they may be reactive to a specific category of dog, such as dogs with long hair as opposed to short, or even small dogs as opposed to large. Counter-conditioning is used to change the pet’s attitude or emotional response to a stimulus. Most dogs who display reactive or aggressive behaviors – lunging, barking, growling – do so in large part because they FEEL a certain way about their triggers: fearful, anxious, frustrated, or some combination of the three. The more we play, the closer you will be able to be to that spider. Desensitization and counter conditioning. Counterconditioning occurs when the pet's reaction (emotional response) to a stimulus is changed from one that is anxious or fearful to one that is positive and enjoyable. Identify a reward your dog likes. My dog is leash reactive to dogs that growl and bark behind fences. Counter Conditioning is the process of changing the emotion or behavior a dog exhibits in response to a specific antecedent, or "trigger” (dog, human, animal, objects, vacuums, cars, bikes). The CARE for Reactive Dogs website is a great resource for counter conditioning reactive dogs. Desensitization is the process of exposing the animal to a stimulus beginning at a very low intensity. You can also work on counter conditioning and desensitizing your dog from triggers. Reactive dog training focuses on teaching your dog to relax and get into an operant or “learning frame of mind” in the presence of other dogs (or whatever stimulus they are reacting to). I have a human- and dog-reactive 2 1/2 year old GSD that I have been working with. This blog will cover ways to manage a reactive dog. Desensitization and counter-conditioning are like two sides of the same coin: they are distinct from one another, but work best when paired with the other. Photo by Frank Pontier. Reactive dogs may never be reliable off-leash with other strange dogs. Walking Your Reactive Dog. 1. DS is Desensitization - similar to counter conditioning in that you expose your dog to the trigger (while your dog is under threshold) so they can get used to it. Counter-conditioning requires replacing a negative reaction like fear with a positive reaction by changing the association your dog has to a given stimulus. As a reactive dog mom, I sometimes find myself in a treat rut. Edit: to all those saying that even going through a breeder won’t guarantee a dog not being reactive, you are totally right! And that is fine. Pattern 4: Heel forward, then change directions by turning 90°-180° and heel in the new direction. Counter Conditioning. Dogs can be reactive specifically to their own kind. This is usually done by showing the dog the stimulus, then providing a high value treat or reward while the dog is non-reactive, relaxed, and able to make good choices. ... 3 — D would be a good example of classical counter-conditioning if the dog was a beagle because beagles find sniffing for treats more reinforcing than the other breeds mentioned above. I use this sometimes to get dogs started, especially if they are super reactive. ... focus cues, counter conditioning and desensitization, emergency exit “tricks” as well as how to facilitate meeting other dogs and appropriate play. Counter conditioning means training an animal to display a behavior that is different than his current reaction to a stimulus. How to desensitise a reactive dog. Counter Conditioning in Fearful Dogs. In the reactive dog class example, playing find-it in the classroom is likely acting as a competing reinforcer for the dog. Counter conditioning is one of the main tools available to aid the reactive dog in learning to be comfortable in their environment. In addition to getting our dog calm and comfortable with the problem stimulus (desensitization), we also help him re-associate a previously negative stimulus with something positive (counter-conditioning).Counter conditioning is achieved by engaging our dog in focus/eye-contact training and other simple dog obedience commands (e.g. Walking your reactive dog can be a daily struggle but there are ways to help manage your dog’s behavior. Pyg. And that is fine. Don’t give up! This is something that, among dog trainers knowledgeable in the ways of DS/CC, is widely known. I’ll add a few bags of soft training treats — the smellier the better — to my Chewy.com order and that’s the end of it. Desensitization is starting with a very low-level intensity of aversive stimulus until the dog habituates to (or changes his association with) the aversive, and then gradually increasing the strength until the dog is comfortable with the stimulus at full intensity. She was more than just a dog to me; she was a friend who revealed aspects of myself I never knew existed. E.x. Dog looks at other dog, food falls from the sky (or falls on the ground, or a toy is presented. Help your reactive dog become a good citizen . Our goal is to change the dog’s emotional response to the sound of the doorbell. Future blogs will go more in-depth with these methods. 1. They are usually used in combination. But if you’re putting your reactive dog through intensive, triggering training sessions, you … Counter-conditioning and desensitization are powerful ways to change behavior. It involves working with antecedents and consequences to change behavior. The negative is paired with a positive and the emotional response shifts to a positive. I am not an expert by any means and have been researching, experimenting and working on my own. A reactive dog is a dog that overreacts to certain situations or stimuli. Obedience training programs. The first time I tried counter conditioning I was elated! In dog obedience training, there are often many different approaches to the same problem. The idea is to change the dog's emotional response to the trigger, teaching them to associate it with something positive. OMG – I … Counter Conditioning is the most popular way to get a dog used to a trigger and its a basic way that most owners can start. Patricia McConnell, Dog-Dog Reactivity – Treatment Summary Leash Reactive The technique of counter conditioning is used to replace a dog’s FEAR of a particular stimulus with a POSITIVE emotional response. For those of you with the happy go lucky dog or the dog with a high prey drive, this game teaches your dog to be calm and relaxed in the presence of the other dogs or squirrels etc. Having a reactive dog is always a struggle. Think Pavlov. Reactive dogs may never be reliable o ff-leash with other strange dogs. However, a lot of people saying that have given specific reasons for their dog becoming reactive. CC is Counter Conditioning - creating a positive association with something by rewarding when your dog sees something. Dog looks at other dog, food falls from the sky (or falls on the ground, or a toy is presented. To be successful in changing this behavior, we need to begin our training at an intensity that is under the reactive dog’s arousal “threshold”. Okay, I kind of figured something similar but I was confused due to a Reactive Dogs group I am in. By this I mean when we encounter a stimuli, I give her the command of “go sniff”, and allow her to break her heal to sniff the grass, trees, etc. The exercises involving backwards movement are generally required for the more highly reactive dog and dogs earlier in … In order to counter-condition your dog, you’ll need to know what your dog likes. 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