Category Archives: Classical conditioning

Are You SURE Your Dog Prefers That Food Toy?

It just occurred to me that it is super easy to make assumptions about how much our dogs prefer a particular food toy, or even whether they really enjoy them that much.  Don’t yell at me. To be clear: I use … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Classical conditioning, Enrichment, Food toys, Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Are You Really Performing Classical Counterconditioning?

What do the following training descriptions have in common? “My dog’s afraid of strangers. But when she stops barking and makes eye contact with me, I give her a treat.” “I hold her foot. Then I give her a treat … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Behavior analysis, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning | 28 Comments

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

Yelling at My Dogs

The “yelling” question comes up regularly for positive reinforcement-based trainers. “Am I a bad person if I yell at my dogs?” “Is it positive punishment to yell at my dogs?” And the accusatory version, “Do you NEVER yell at your dogs? … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Classical conditioning, Dog training hints | 21 Comments

Loving the Vacuum Cleaner

  Here’s a little video I made of my dogs’ response to the vacuum cleaner. Hurray for classical conditioning! As soon as any dog comes into my home, I start pairing any potentially scary sounds of human life with great stuff. … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning | 3 Comments

Coping with In-Home Construction with Dogs

Life intervenes in our most careful, gradual training programs sometimes. I’ve got a dog that was born feral and a recovering reactive dog, both of whom I work with on their issues, including that I take regular lessons from a very talented … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Classical conditioning, Differential Reinforcement, Management, Sound sensitivity | Tagged | 7 Comments

See My Successes; See My Failures

I wrote in my first post that one of the things I have to offer the world is a window into my mistakes as a beginner trainer. Last week I posted an update on the smashing success of my feral dog … Continue reading

Share Button
Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog body language, Handling and Husbandry | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

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

Share Button
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

Share Button
Posted in Behavior analysis, 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

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