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Friday, February 20, 2015

Reactivity. Part 5. Operant Conditioning.

Once we have a dog who learns that stranger dogs equal treats (classical conditioning) then we can start asking for behaviors (operant conditioning)*

I like to ask my dog to sit when he/she see other dogs.  But it can be any behavior. Basically as long as you give your dog something else to do instead of bark, lunge, etc..

But remember to only ask for a behavior after everything is in  place - classical conditioning, operant conditioning, proofing etc.. Don't ask for a behavior that you haven't taught or your dog can't do. Pushing on the dogs butt or holding your dog in a sit or "massaging a dog into a down" will only increase frustration (among other problems). 
And we need to make sure we are always at a comfortable and safe distance. i.e. don't ask for down (a very vulnerable position) when another dog is very close to your dog.

*A short explanation of the difference between classical and operant conditioning
Stay Tuned. More on reactivity will be posted here:

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