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Samson began reacting fearfully towards strangers at around 6 mths of age.For the past 10 mths I have been doing the usual counter conditioning routine,attempting to replace the anxiety with an alternate behavior,which is to focus on me instead of the scary person.He's doing very well and only gets tense if someone stares at him.We've finished a basic class where he remained neutral and relaxed after a tense first class.

This weekend we had company over for a backyard cookout and he was ok with our guests,even soliciting pets from them,and was totally relaxed.But if anyone stood up and walked he would follow them,hackles raised,barking.After a couple of these instances I had him laying next to me when someone stood up to walk.When he gathered himself to leap up I popped him on the flank with my fingertips(Caesar's "touch") and he settled right back down.Hmm.

What I'm wondering is if he's at a point where the reactivity is no longer fear but is more of a habitual reaction? Should I begin to correct in specific instances like the aforementioned?Another scenario would be when we're walking by people and someone makes eye contact with him a second longer than he's comfortable with and he gives his little growl.Correction with a leash pop or touch,then reward when he gives me eye contact?
 

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Samson began reacting fearfully towards strangers at around 6 mths of age.For the past 10 mths I have been doing the usual counter conditioning routine,attempting to replace the anxiety with an alternate behavior,which is to focus on me instead of the scary person.He's doing very well and only gets tense if someone stares at him.We've finished a basic class where he remained neutral and relaxed after a tense first class.

This weekend we had company over for a backyard cookout and he was ok with our guests,even soliciting pets from them,and was totally relaxed.But if anyone stood up and walked he would follow them,hackles raised,barking.After a couple of these instances I had him laying next to me when someone stood up to walk.When he gathered himself to leap up I popped him on the flank with my fingertips(Caesar's "touch") and he settled right back down.Hmm.

What I'm wondering is if he's at a point where the reactivity is no longer fear but is more of a habitual reaction? Should I begin to correct in specific instances like the aforementioned?Another scenario would be when we're walking by people and someone makes eye contact with him a second longer than he's comfortable with and he gives his little growl.Correction with a leash pop or touch,then reward when he gives me eye contact?
It could be a conditioned response but still I would not let him associate others with a correction or even the Cesar thing. You did well in keeping him with you in situations that he cannot handle. if he goes over over his threshold, call his name in a happy voice and give him something to do. Try to avoid situations that are difficult but keep him in the "gray" area so he can see but not react yet. If you want to enjoy your company, work with him for a few minutes, then put him away and get him back later for another session so he can digest all of this and you can enjoy human company. I would not let him mingle on his own but keeping him on leash only to avoid set backs.
 

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Well, you are not wrong in "correcting for fear." Jeff Gellman says, "yes you can correct for fear!" Good enough for me!

Sorry can't find the clip. :(

But that aside, "out think" your dog! If you are doing the same thing over and over again and it's not working, time to do something different!

First my standard links:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/5296377-post8.html

"Who Pets my Puppy or Dog" the walk part. The pro's have a problem with the rest of the advice in the article! They don't recommend it and neither do I. But the Walk part?? In essence, keep people out of your dogs face! Ignore and move on. If you choose to meet and greet..you set the terms, not the dog!

In essence by "walking your dog" you show him how you "expect him to behave " and that you have there back! They get that!

Next..."Sit on the Dog" I thought it was only for dogs with "problems??" But some of the pro's have said they have all their clients do this with their dogs, good enough!

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/training-theory-methods/426322-selzer-sitting-dog.html
Wheres my sanity: Sit on the Dog, aka: The long down
Energy - it's all about confid-tude

And...of course! "The Place Command:"
TheDogTrainingSecret.com -
The Magic Of Duration Work | The Good Dog Life Blog[/url
]
[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIGq_5r0DeE


"Every dog" should know the "Place Command" it can prevent "issues" before they happen! :)

And not saying this is separation anxiety but lots to learn by reading this... "insight" as it were! And I don't do the treadmill thing myself. I don't like leashes on dogs on stuff that moves!

Soo as is often the case with me, lots of links and lots of info! :crazy:

But "individually" none of it is hard. Put them all together and I think you can change the dog you have into the dog you want! :)

Oh and don't know if this is needed?? But the walk part, I suggest using a real train! Train like the Pro's! Flat Collar and leash, Slip Lead Leash or a Prong Collar (they all require proper use!). If those don't work?? Yet again you are doing something wrong!

In any case in use with any of those tools, the walk should look like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv75lADEbRM

Hope this helps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Wolfy and Chip!Lots of food for thought!
 

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Just to touch on what Chip18 said. My guy was/is? reactive to other dogs. I took him to a Reactive Rover class with a behaviorist. I worked with another behaviorist in private lessons. Did counter conditioning, "Look at That," and BAT where the dog basic picks where he goes on a walk. Saw little to no improvement over a six months period.

Went to an IPO club. Training Director said my GSD had no idea he wasn't supposed to bark and lunge. He needs a correction!! So I have been working on focus on me (Fuss) and I correct with a prong collar if he looks at another dog (in other words, doesn't focus on me.)

Let me put this into context. My guy broke my shoulder in June barking and lunging at two small dogs that walked along the side of my truck (I didn't know until they were "on top of us") as I got my GSD out of his crate in back. Took me down before I realized what was happening. As I was going down I knew one thing, no matter what don't let go! This was the first time I got him out of the truck at the IPO club. Gee, what a humble producing introduction . . .

Today, my guy saw other dogs some quite close with no reaction--except one time--he lost focus and looked at another dog. I corrected and he looked back at me. Got verbal and food reward. The change is amazing!! My training director said he is ready to move to working on a fur saver.

I don't regret doing "all positive," where the behaviorists said if you correct you just suppress and not fix it. Well, he broke my shoulder! I want a dog under control!!!

I use lots of treats. Sometimes even raw meat. But I also correct--it has made a huge difference in my dog's behavior. The IPO training director was correct--he didn't know that he wasn't supposed to bark and lunge.

I know Samson doesn't have a dog reaction, but i wanted to share my experience. I was so worried that they wouldn't let us in the club, but the training director said it was very fixable--especially since my guy is still a puppy at 1.5 yrs. old.
 

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I don't regret doing "all positive," where the behaviorists said if you correct you just suppress and not fix it. Well, he broke my shoulder! I want a dog under control!!!

I use lots of treats. Sometimes even raw meat. But I also correct--it has made a huge difference in my dog's behavior. The IPO training director was correct--he didn't know that he wasn't supposed to bark and lunge.

I know Samson doesn't have a dog reaction, but i wanted to share my experience. I was so worried that they wouldn't let us in the club, but the training director said it was very fixable--especially since my guy is still a puppy at 1.5 yrs. old.
I agree. Starting with the most gentle techniques and go with the flow. Ever since having these intense dogs I have adjusted my methods to whatever works. No abuse because that doesn't work. My U turn happened when WD pulled me over when he saw his best buddy to romp with. Prong collar made the world of difference. As long as your dog is not deadly afraid of the other dog or whatever scares him and he is able to focus on you and take treats, this sounds do-able.
 

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The key to purifying the reason for why a correction happened is discrimination.

A dog will associate a correction with a person if the person enters the picture and the dog gets corrected till the person leaves.

The dog associates the correction with the behavior if the person enters the picture the dog does the behavior then gets corrected till the behavior stops and the person remains in the picture. Its simple discrimination.

You dont correct fear you correct the operant behavior you dont want to see anymore.
 

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correct for disobeying a command, not for reacting. Managing the reactivity is important, proactively give a command so the dog will get corrected if not complying, it'll redirect the dogs attention from what they are reacting to. PRAISE, throw a party with high value reward if the dog needs no correction.
LAT does work as well.
My dog ramped up when she was corrected for her reactivity...it backfired on us, so I used the LAT method and it worked/more clear to her.
 

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Ramps up if you correct too late at insufficient intensity to prevent the rest of the behavior from playing out. You must correct at the very first hints of the behavior not after the dog is already flipping out.
 

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Ramps up if you correct too late at insufficient intensity to prevent the rest of the behavior from playing out. You must correct at the very first hints of the behavior not after the dog is already flipping out.
Managing the reactivity is important, proactively give a command
yes, watch and manage before the dog is at that level.Some dogs are hard, and not biddable so 'not so much flipping out' though the aggression level is increased because the correction(PRONG) adds to the excitement. Biddable dogs seldom need that because they are willing to please, and want to please. A dog with their own agenda, will just keep trying to prove their agenda. It does depend on the individual dog.
The handler needs to show the dog they have their world under control which takes that burden off the dog...fear aggression sometimes surfaces because the dog can't deal with thinking they need to control everything. Once that pressure comes off, the dog can relax and look to the handler for direction and security.
 

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Moriah,thank you!!!!This is what I was hoping for as a response.Someone with the exact same dilemma!There are specific instances where a dog becomes reactive with zero warning and it needs to be managed in a way that doesn't cause more anxiety.Reading your experiences has been super helpful.

We have been doing all positive training and it has been very effective except for the couple of scenarios I mentioned and I was getting the impression that the behaviors were habitual responses as opposed to anxious reactions.I think that correction,look at me,BACON:) is the new plan.
 

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Bailiff that makes a lot of sense to me about stopping the behavior while the person remains.I don't want to make a mistake and inadvertently make things worse.
 

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what part of the state are you located, dogma13?
 

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The key to purifying the reason for why a correction happened is discrimination.

A dog will associate a correction with a person if the person enters the picture and the dog gets corrected till the person leaves.

The dog associates the correction with the behavior if the person enters the picture the dog does the behavior then gets corrected till the behavior stops and the person remains in the picture. Its simple discrimination.

You dont correct fear you correct the operant behavior you dont want to see anymore.
Totally makes sense to me.This is exactly the specific information I needed.

Thanks to all for your responses!All of your input is extremely helpful.
 
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