a possible idea for helping reactive dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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a possible idea for helping reactive dogs

For those who have reactive dogs and wonder why things are not getting better very quickly, if at all, consider this:

This is a small study, done as a college thesis, but it does bring up an interesting idea. If a dog gets stressed from a reactive encounter, in this case another dog, the stress hormone go up. If the dog does not get enough time, we are talking days, the hormone level doesn't go back down. Each successive reactive event then builds on the already heightened levels.

Here is the link to the study: http://theiscp.com/wp-content/upload...-Thesis-2a.pdf
Her suggestion is to give the dog exercise vacations, not long walks where they are likely to meet another dog. No busy games of fetch. Replace large amounts of exercise with brain games and relaxation techniques.

She might be onto something. We don't often take into consideration it might take longer for some dogs to get-back-to-normal (my words, not hers) than we would think.

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 05:59 PM
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Yes I heard of this study somewhere. I find sometimes taking a step back from anything even for myself refreshes the mind.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:06 PM
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that's not new.

you will not get a calmed and quiet puppy by exercising it till it physically needs to drop , or flirt polling it or just being busy .

that's like gasoline on to the fire.

calm makes calm.

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:04 PM
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From my understanding of this study, the point is to avoid stimulating encounters that can cause stress, and to find other ways to exercise the dog. It's not the exercise in itself that will help a dog, it is the break from having their stress hormones sent through the roof each time they are out and about.

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car2ner View Post
Her suggestion is to give the dog exercise vacations, not long walks where they are likely to meet another dog.
.
I'm probably wrong because I didn't collect nearly as much data and conduct as many case studies with variables and constants as a college thesis should provide for.....but....my experience would suggest....an "absence makes the heart fonder" type of observation when it comes to a dog's reactivity...probably doesn't make any sense.....but...more frequency of exposure to the "spark" which starts the reaction in the dog.....coupled with a better choice for the dog while it can still practically make the proper choice.....has yielded better results than removing the trigger for any extended period of time. However....if they are talking about an amped up dog and no better choice has been made definitively clear.....then I could appreciate how a hiatus of sorts could allow the dog to recover to a state where it would become more receptive to the lesson at hand......


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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:11 PM
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We do a lot of reactive dogs here, mainly GSD unfortunately.

Contingent punishment fixes it quickly and effectively.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
We do a lot of reactive dogs here, mainly GSD unfortunately.

Contingent punishment fixes it quickly and effectively.

Can you describe what contingent punishment consists of?
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:25 AM
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oh good grief - punishment for feeling stressed .

Castlemaid said "From my understanding of this study, the point is to avoid stimulating encounters that can cause stress, and to find other ways to exercise the dog. It's not the exercise in itself that will help a dog, it is the break from having their stress hormones sent through the roof each time they are out and about."

which is why there is a thread called https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...-socialization

there is nothing gained by having an agenda to meet so many people or master so many challenges within a set period of time without regard to accommodating the young dog's readiness or ability to do so .

quote
" If the dog does not get enough time, we are talking days, the hormone level doesn't go back down. Each successive reactive event then builds on the already heightened levels. "

this is like the brains muscle memory - a default setting which prepares the dog for a response .

this is the mechanism behind torture . You don't begin the next round at square one , you begin at the level of distress where you last left off . Accumulative.

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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 01:11 AM
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Don't know ... 24 freaking pages??? To much reading for me?? Sounds like more "study" than "working with dogs" to me???

"Show me" works fine for me, every dog is "different." KISS, the first dog I worked with (a fear of people and a puller) was ... adopted a week later??? I was stunned??? I never took his "hormone levels" into account???

Sounds like "crap" to me but I'm not a "behaviourist."
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 07:00 AM
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Grisha Stewart has a section in her book about "trigger stacking"....now I think she was referring to that happening in the same day or experience but it is probably applicable anyway.

My opinion is that this is definitely valid....pathways are formed in the brain, it becomes easier and easier for the stress response to occur (that is a non scientific way of saying it)

There are other ways to deal with reactive dogs than to punish the behavior to the point that it is supressed. There are ways of dealing with it where some positive punishment is used but not probably in the way that Blitzkrieg meant.
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