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Found 3 results

  1. I was going to share this in C&F, but then figured I'd share here instead. For years Zuri was your typical greyhound, grumpy about his space. He'd growl or snap when another dog got into his space, would sleep startle in bed with me, and even reacted toward a few humans when completely caught off guard (including a small child who crawled head on onto his bed while he was sleeping ). It was the last incident that made me realize I really needed to do something about the issue, especially if I was going to take him places where I couldn't manage his environment well enough to prevent something like that. So we started basic classical counter-conditioning. Any time he got touched/startled/woken up while sleeping or laying down, he got a treat. Initially I did it intentionally a lot as well. I'd wait for him to be asleep, then I'd poke his butt and stick the food in his mouth immediately, later on being rougher or touching him closer to or on his face. Eventually he started to look at me expectantly for his treat when it happened and I knew it was working. Now I tend to verbally praise him the majority of the time and occasionally use a food reward when it's convenient, when I've done it on purpose, or when something particularly "unpleasant" has happened (like Skye running over top of him sleeping soundly on the couch while playing when she apparently wasn't aware he was there ). This is the result: They've been sleeping like that for about an hour, and at times Violet's legs have been moving as she dreams or stretches and repositions a bit. So this is your PSA - you can get rid of sleep startle aggression. I know other people on here have done it as well.
  2. Hi! When I first got my pretty Katie 3 years ago, she was a spook. Terrified to leave her crate, had to be coaxed down the hallway step by step, had to be carried outside and would panic and run inside anytime ANYTHING changed, from a new sound to a bird flying to the wind blowing. It's been a long, sometimes slow, three years, but she has come along awesomely! I have done a lot of training with her, and she is on generic prozac, which definitely is helping. But one thing that can not be under-emphasized is the importance of what you are using to counter-condition your dog. I'd been using cheese, because she really seemed to like cheese, and it was relatively convenient to carry around. But then, when I hit a plateau, I talked to my trainer and she agreed that I could use chicken feet during class. Oh. My. God! What a difference! As someone wisely pointed out, if you don't see a change in behavior when you are counter-conditioning in a relatively short time, it's because the dog is either over threshold or doesn't find the reinforcer to be reinforcing enough. The first class (with cheese), Katie balked at going up the steps, and basically endured class. The first class with chicken feet, she went up the steps no problem, and was engaged and alert during class. The third class, she was standing up in the car looking out the front window as we got close to class, and made the eager whine she does for going on the greyhound walk. The fourth class, we had out at a park. Here's some pictures from that: So it is possible for these dogs to make huge improvements. I never really thought I would be able to get Katie to be this comfortable outside. My initial attempts to walk her resulted in her going into full-blown panic mode and acting like a little bucking bronco, so this is a huge improvement. Just thought other people might be needing some encouragement. I'm not really sure of the best forum for this, so a moderator can move it if they feel it should be somewhere else. Rebecca and Katie
  3. Hi! When I first got my pretty Katie 3 years ago, she was a spook. Terrified to leave her crate, had to be coaxed down the hallway step by step, had to be carried outside and would panic and run inside anytime ANYTHING changed, from a new sound to a bird flying to the wind blowing. It's been a long, sometimes slow, three years, but she has come along awesomely! I have done a lot of training with her, and she is on generic prozac, which definitely is helping. But one thing that can not be under-emphasized is the importance of what you are using to counter-condition your dog. I'd been using cheese, because she really seemed to like cheese, and it was relatively convenient to carry around. But then, when I hit a plateau, I talked to my trainer and she agreed that I could use chicken feet during class. Oh. My. God! What a difference! As someone wisely pointed out, if you don't see a change in behavior when you are counter-conditioning in a relatively short time, it's because the dog is either over threshold or doesn't find the reinforcer to be reinforcing enough. The first class (with cheese), Katie balked at going up the steps, and basically endured class. The first class with chicken feet, she went up the steps no problem, and was engaged and alert during class. The third class, she was standing up in the car looking out the front window as we got close to class, and made the eager whine she does for going on the greyhound walk. The fourth class, we had out at a park. Here's some pictures from that: So it is possible for these dogs to make huge improvements. I never really thought I would be able to get Katie to be this comfortable outside. My initial attempts to walk her resulted in her going into full-blown panic mode and acting like a little bucking bronco, so this is a huge improvement. Just thought other people might be needing some encouragement. I'm not really sure of the best forum for this, so a moderator can move it if they feel it should be somewhere else. Rebecca and Katie
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