Correcting the dog by counter-conditioning

This corrective technique is based on a principle: the dog can be conditioned to appreciate acceptable behavior by the master instead of unacceptable behavior. It is usually associated with the systematic desensitization , which serves as a reinforcement and complement.

For example, the dog who is afraid of detonations may be conditioned to accept them if they are heard weak. intensity (systematic desensitization) and if one reinforces the correct behavior, in other words the fact of not fleeing or not agitating, by treats and cuddles (against conditioning). In order for the counter-conditioning technique to be effective, the dog must be encouraged to receive reinforcement as a result of a particular action to overcome the fear that the same action was previously triggering at home.

It is important to find a particularly positive reinforcement. motivating. In addition, it will be all the more eager to obtain some positive reinforcement that it has been previously deprived. Counter-conditioning can be used to treat cases in which the dog shows a strong dislike for a family member.

Let's call alpha the unsympathetic person and beta the sympathetic person. The beta subject will not have to interact with the animal for a fortnight. When he comes near him, he will avoid it, give him neither food nor sweets. Before starting therapy, it is advisable to leave the dog on an empty stomach for twenty-four hours: he will seek to compensate for this lack of attention by addressing the alpha subject, who will cajole and feed him.

then, it will become more interesting and more important than the subject beta and the animal will focus on him. Before interacting with him, the alpha subject will have to order him to sit down or lie down to gain dominance. Counter-conditioning is also used to treat separation anxiety . Just find a nice reinforcement, for example a bone that the dog can eat in moments of loneliness: with this occupation, he gets distracted and relaxes.

The bone or any other object extremely appreciated by the dog must be desired to the point that the puppy hopes the departure of his master to obtain it. It must be removed as soon as the master arrives at the house and offer it only on the occasion of the outings of the latter.

This is obviously a solution that can only be suitable for separations but to tackle the problem in a holistic way, it is necessary to resort to a more constructed behavioral therapy as well as to a drug treatment.

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