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Friday, February 20, 2015

Reactivity. Part 4. Counter Conditioning And Desensitization

We started with helping the dog feel safe and less frustrated (management)
Then we worked on some foundation basics (relaxation, proofed behaviors)

Now it's time to actually address the issue with counter conditioning and desensitization.  Some might say this is only for dogs who are afraid or aggressive. But I like to use CC/DS for frustrated greeters as well.  For two reasons

1. Just in case we think we have a frustrated greeter but we really have a scared or worried dog. Even if we are wrong, CC/DS will certainly not make things worse.

2. Even if our dog is simply over excited or friendly, the DS (desensitization) part of CC/DS will help the dog be less frustrated and the CC part (counter conditioning) will help our friendly dog learn to look to us instead of stranger dogs.

It's best to work with a skilled trainer or behaviorist. Especially one who has access to some calm, stable dogs.  Here are some ways to proceed:

Stay Tuned. More on reactivity will be posted here:

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