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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 :yikes).

 

This is the result:

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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.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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This is tonight :wub:

 

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gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Al it takes is patience and time. Good for you and super for Zuri.

Patience and time and counter-conditioning. ;)

 

One more. I can't help myself. :blush They've been sleeping like this for hrs now. :wub:

 

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gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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