Category Archives: Classical conditioning

Socializing a Formerly Feral Dog

When I started this blog, I assumed that I would write a lot about Clara’s training. Clara burst into my life as a 10 week old feral puppy [see note at bottom about feral dogs], and her socialization window was in … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

You Can’t Cure MY Fear By Shoving Cookies at Me!

I think it’s so interesting when someone says that. Every so often I hear or read a confident claim from someone saying that desensitization/counterconditioning (DS/CC) wouldn’t work on them.  They seem offended at the very idea that food would help them overcome their fear. The … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Fear, Human psychology | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Stinky Stuff on My Back! DS/CC for Flea Treatment

Thank you to Jennifer Titus and Debbie Jacobs for their help with the post and movie. All errors are my own and all clumsy training moments are in spite of their excellent counsel.  Before I got serious about training, I regarded … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Handling and Husbandry | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

When is it OK for Your Dog to Pull on Leash?

Is there actually a situation in which it’s OK for your dog to pull on leash? Oh, yes. For fearful and reactive dogs there are at least two! One is when you are practicing desensitization/counterconditioning with your dog in public and can’t ask her … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog Training, Fear, Operant conditioning, Reactivity | Tagged , , , | 31 Comments

CARE for Reactive Dogs

Wow! My friend Jennifer Titus has created a wonderful thing. Website: CARE for Reactive Dogs CARE is an educational website that provides, free of charge,

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog Training, Fear, Reactivity, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | Comments Off on CARE for Reactive Dogs

What Happened to Summer’s Thunderstorm Phobia?

Is it weird to write a post saying that something really shouldn’t have worked, but look, it kind of did? Is it irresponsible even? I keep pondering why I feel the need to explain all the strikes I had against me … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' hearing, Fear, Sound sensitivity, Stress Signals | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Thresholds: The Movie

I have made a movie about thresholds in dog training. It gives a quick overview of the work that I presented in my webinar for the Pet Professional Guild. (Click here for a complete script of the video; or expand the audio … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' perceptions, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Stress Signals, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Thresholds in Dog Training…HOW Many?

I recently gave a webinar entitled, “Over Threshold: The Changing Definition,” for the Pet Professional Guild (PPG). The webinar is still available as a recording, and I encourage any interested folks to check it out. It is not expensive. (And … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog Training, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, News, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Goodie or Doodie? When a Classical Pairing Gets Stomped On

Priiiiiiingggggg! I use WordPress.com to host this blog. It has a smartphone app. The app is most useful to me for checking statistics and getting notifications. The app has a pleasant little sound effect. You can assign it to sound … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Classical conditioning, Cues, Punishment, Reinforcement, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | Tagged | 23 Comments

Successful Desensitization and Counterconditioning

I have an elliptical training machine in my back room. I’ve had it for three years. Zani loves that room because that’s where the kibble, some human food, and other interesting things are stored. But when I get on the … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Fear, Terminology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments