(VICT) Re: Buckley being aggressive......

  • From: "Ridge Euler" <ridge_e@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 09:18:27 -0500

this is kind of the way my trainer does it the only thing different when she 
comes up with her dogs she tells me to sit Buckley.  
Ridge and Buckley Guide/SD
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Meg Irizarry<mailto:arjay@xxxxxxxx> 
  Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2007 11:42 AM
  Subject: (VICT) Re: Buckley being aggressive......

  Hi Ridge,

  I have been reading about the posts about Buckley and wanted to offer 
  my opinion.  First, let me say that those who have responded have 
  offered some wonderful ideas and suggestions.  Sandy is so on the 
  money with mentioning management.  Until several months ago, I'm not 
  sure I would have had anything valuable to add or suggest.  However, 
  I became aware of a fairly new treatment for aggression within the 
  last few months.  It's called the CAT approach - Constructional 
  Aggression Treatment.  Basically, it is a shaping program as opposed 
  to a standard program using desensitization.  It has shown incredible 
  results and compared to desensitization, results are quick.

  Here is the basic concept:

  First consider that aggression or any behavior is extremely specific 
  to the environment.  This explains why Buckley doesn't show 
  aggression at church.  You mention he is only reactive at two 
  places.  These then, are the places you need to work with him.

  You will not be using food at all, since food is not what he 
  considers the reinforcer in those situations.  I think it's really 
  important for us humans to remember that we do not determine 
  reinforcers.  The dog does.  By introducing food into the equation in 
  a situation like yours, we tend to muddy up the environmental cues 
  and triggers.  Not to mention that many dogs are simply too aroused 
  to even care about food during episodes of reactivity.  It's also one 
  less thing to worry about with regards to timing.

  So, consider what Buckley wants when he is growling or beginning to 
  react.  He wants more distance between him and the scary person.
  Having the scary thing retreat will become his reinforcer.

  Determine his trigger threshold.  This is done the same as in 
  desensitization.  You'll work outside his threshold to begin 
  with.  You also want to try and recreate the environment as closely 
  as possible to the real life circumstances in which he would normally 
  react.  Remember - behavior is absolutely specific to the environment!

  You then begin by having the scary person walk towards the dog until 
  he begins to growl (if this is his first warning).  The person should 
  approach the dog normally.  Sometimes in desensitization, we alter 
  our approach by perhaps turning sideways and not looking at the 
  dog.  With the CAT approach, you do not alter your approach and 
  should maintain eye contact with the dog.  This doesn't mean trying 
  to stare him down, but looking at him normally.  When he begins to 
  react, the SP (scary person) stops and stands still.  The dog will 
  normally continue to growl or bark.  The SP waits it out.  When the 
  dog shows any sign of relaxing or stops growling or barking, even for 
  a second, the SP retreats, which in essence is issuing the desired reinforcer.

  You then continue in this manner, shaping his 
  behavior.  Interestingly, there is also a point in the process where 
  the dog "switches over" and decides that SP may not be the SP they 
  once thought.  You might observe some ambivalence in the dog's 
  posture. You then can see the dog actually enjoying petting or at 
  that point, treats.

  It's a fascinating, new approach to treating aggression, researched 
  and developed extensively by Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and Kellie Snider 
  at the University of North Texas.

  I hope this helps a little.



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