Using/expanding on LAT - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Using/expanding on LAT

My boy is struggling to adjust to apartment life, and the kinds of noises that are much closer/more frequent than when we lived with my folks in the suburbs in their 4-br house. We've been living here since the beginning of November, but he still jumps and barks and raises his hackles at the sounds of car doors slamming, engines starting, voices, etc. Except not all the time - not even half the time. He's more likely (but not guaranteed) to react like that if he's been resting than if he's playing. Probably 4 nights a week, I'll be just dropping off to sleep when he jumps up and starts barking his head off at something. He does still react sometimes when he's not resting though, if he's not completely absorbed in something (training or a food puzzle).

I started trying to do a variation on LAT, and clicking when he runs to the door having a cow at the neighbour who slammed a car door. Now he goes, barks a bit (although less - but still with hackles up), and then turns around and looks at me expectantly.

Is this even reasonable? If I keep going, will he learn to look toward the door (where he runs when he hears the noises) without barking? Or am I teaching him/rewarding him for the barking? In re-reading the section in CU about LAT, she emphasizes working sub-threshold... I don't know how to do that in this instance (his line between not caring at all, and being overwhelmed is so thin), so I wonder if I'm going the wrong direction.

Thoughts or suggestions?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 08:37 PM
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Having used the LAT/CU methods with my people-reactive dog (who has not had an episode in well... forever!) I would reward the second he hears the the noise but before he barks.

The trick is to catch him BEFORE he reacts. Almost like a distraction.

Ears perked - click - treat - good boy! Repeat.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 11:33 PM
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the turning around and looking at you expectantly is an EXCELLENT SIGN. it means he is able to use part of his thinking brain to auto-correct in the middle of reactivity. this is a very useful skill.

I had the same question and issue. what i decided to do is to raise the criteria . i cant keep noises from happening or dogs from walking by on the street. and we cant get closer to them-so what i am doing now is acknowleging his bark by looking back at him.-he usually looks at me when he starts the barking as if to say"hey mom- a dog is outside!" i then look at him without any reaction as if to say, "yeah? and so what?" i dont actually say it-it is more of an attitude- and i go back to what i am doing. if he persists, i go look at the window with him.

when he looks again at the window i will only click if he does not bark or react.
i then say "look at the doggie". at this point he knows we are in game mode and he will usually look without a bark. i continue to click and treat until either dog goes out of sight or Ben calms down and doesnt have a problem with it anymore.

so i am now clicking for no reaction.
we still do LAT but for in the house the raised criteria is that i reward quiet behavior, tho he can look all he wants.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-23-2012, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisabeth_00117 View Post
The trick is to catch him BEFORE he reacts. Almost like a distraction.

Ears perked - click - treat - good boy! Repeat.
Yes, of course, which is easy to do if on a walk with a dog- or people- reactive dog, and you can see the situation coming. The hard part here is the inconsistency with which he is reactive, and that I can't predict noises happening. I can't be watching him every second I'm home, of course - gotta cook, clean, etc. I am working on being more aware of the noises around us, to try to glance at him before he starts reacting, but that's such a fine line - and as I say, he doesn't *always* bark at car doors slamming, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowersGSD View Post
the turning around and looking at you expectantly is an EXCELLENT SIGN. it means he is able to use part of his thinking brain to auto-correct in the middle of reactivity. this is a very useful skill.
Oh good, that's what I was hoping! I couldn't tell if it was good, showing that he can interrupt himself, or bad, showing that he thought the click was for barking. (I have always been careful not to click while he barked)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowersGSD View Post
I had the same question and issue. what i decided to do is to raise the criteria . i cant keep noises from happening or dogs from walking by on the street. and we cant get closer to them-so what i am doing now is acknowleging his bark by looking back at him.-he usually looks at me when he starts the barking as if to say"hey mom- a dog is outside!" i then look at him without any reaction as if to say, "yeah? and so what?" i dont actually say it-it is more of an attitude- and i go back to what i am doing. if he persists, i go look at the window with him.

when he looks again at the window i will only click if he does not bark or react.
i then say "look at the doggie". at this point he knows we are in game mode and he will usually look without a bark. i continue to click and treat until either dog goes out of sight or Ben calms down and doesnt have a problem with it anymore.

so i am now clicking for no reaction.
we still do LAT but for in the house the raised criteria is that i reward quiet behavior, tho he can look all he wants.
That makes sense - and is exactly where I was going with it. I think I just started second guessing myself when it didn't work perfectly right away Of course the stopping and looking is the first step - and if he ends up going back and barking, that just shows that he's still anxious and his head isn't out of the space where noise = ahh, scary, bark at it.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 09:59 PM
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in Leslie's book she says that when the dog realizes that the trigger brings about positive rewards then he will automatically be able to self correct when it happens so that you do not have to be so vigilant about seeing everything first before he does.
he will be able to notice a trigger first and be ok about it. then u can both relax. that is the ultimate aim.

there is a CU yahoo group that Leslie is very active on and answers questions a lot.maybe u can check it out.
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