Category Archives: Fear

Introducing a Puppy and a Sound Sensitive Dog: Preparation Pays Off

Last month I posted to show how Marge Rogers introduced a friendly but possibly overenthusiastic dog to a very small puppy. But what if the challenge were a little different? What if your resident dog were both fearful of new dogs and … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Classical conditioning, Fear, Introducing dogs | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Sink or Swim: 8 Ways You Might Be Flooding Your Dog

Thank you to Marge Rogers, Debbie Jacobs, and Randi Rossman for discussions about this post. The point of view expressed and any mistakes are my own. The journey to positive reinforcement-based training sometimes seems like an endless stream of goodbyes to … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Fear | Tagged , | 35 Comments

It Was Coming Right At Me!

  I am so interested in how dogs perceive things, and how they notice differences that we don’t, or that we take for granted. Those differences can matter to them a great deal. An example of that was the focus of … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Discrimination, Fear, Generalization | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Helping a Fearful Dog Feel Safe

If you have a fearful dog, you probably read all sorts of conflicting advice about what to do about that. Everybody’s got an opinion, and unfortunately some of them include very poor methods. Even if we rule out the methods that … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Fear, Management | 12 Comments

9 Effects of Punishment

Here are nine documented possible side effects of the use of punishment, negative reinforcement, and of aversives in general. Escape/Avoidance: If you hurt or scare your dog, it will likely try to avoid you, the places you frequent, and whatever else it associates … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Escape/Avoidance, Fear, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 5 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

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

It’s OK to Comfort Your Dog!

U.S. folks and Canadians, get ready for the fireworks! People in the U.S. and Canada are getting ready for national holidays that often include all sorts of loud pops and booms from fireworks and firecrackers, even cannons and guns. These kinds … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Fear, Reactivity, Sound sensitivity | Tagged , , , , , | 12 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

Share Button
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,

Share Button
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

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