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Dogs who react intensively to a variety of stimuli – other dogs or people they see on leash or from a window, the sound of the doorbell, or startling noises can be challenging to work with. It can be difficult, or virtually impossible to create practice or training situations that keep these dogs from reacting because their threshold is so low. It’s even more problematic when their behavior has generalized to many situations. Learning theory tells us several things about working with these sorts of problems. First, that it’s difficult to elicit a competing behavior when the existing one is triggered extremely easily. Second, that the more a behavior is displayed, the more readily it is elicited. Third, that preventing one behavior from occurring makes counter conditioning a competing behavior much easier. Interrupting or preventing a behavior or behavior sequence is a reasonable and sometimes necessary component of successfully working with “reactive” dogs. Behavior professionals who focus on using positive reinforcement may be reluctant to do so because they want to avoid using punishment or “aversives”. But there is a way! All that’s necessary is to make good behavior easy to perform and unwanted behavior much more difficult! How do you do that you might ask. In this webinar, we’ll show you using a case history provided by one of our very own BEN members. This webinar presents an instructive case history of a little rat terrier who reacts in unwanted ways to a variety of stimuli. We’ll reveal the full case history, and explain and show you through videos how a very dedicated owner and a very skilled trainer, with some coaching from us, are making a difference in a long standing problem. You’ll come away with ideas to use for your next “reactive dog” case!
Sponsor:Behavior Edcuation Network
Speaker(s):Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Dan Estep, Ph.D., CAAB