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Thread: Question regarding anxiety and desensitisation

  1. #11
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    ejburke that's a very good point, and probably a good reminder for us all. I work with children at a pool, and that should have been the first thing I thought of, sad as it is

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejburke32 View Post
    I'd be very careful about trying to video kids at a school, you can get arrested for that sort of thing these days even if it is purely innocent.
    You could see the school admin and explain you want a sound recording .. You don't need faces . They could well agree as no ones privacy is intruded on. My inclination is the children involved should be asked if they agree but it may not be necessary.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejburke32 View Post
    I'd be very careful about trying to video kids at a school, you can get arrested for that sort of thing these days even if it is purely innocent.
    Dress up like a school chaplain, they'll let you do anything then.

  4. #14

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    'dhru' - LAT - is all about getting the pup to focus on you and getting their attention.

    Some more links for you:

    LAT HAT BAT What is That? | Life With Dogs

    Clicker Training 'Look at That' LAT Game -teaching dogs to focus and eye contact - YouTube

    Woofs! | Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT)

    If Abe is fine with looking at you – maybe it is time to bring the treats out again for your walks – so that he focuses on you more when you are out and about and not on all the scary things.

    Are you able to use the kids to help train Abe - so that he is not so worried about the bikes and skate boards and the kids ? Do you know the parents - so can you ask to borrow a couple of the kids for short periods of time ?

    I did that with my neighbours' kids for my previous GSP boy – and the kids thought it was a hoot ! Lollies, ice-creams and biscuits (with parental permission of course) worked well as treats for the kids to get them doing things the way I wanted them done !

    smiley-eatdrink004.gif

  5. #15
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    Ok thanks. If that's what LAT is then I'm happy that we've got that sorted. He's actually better than Sal at that - I think it has something to do with his confidence that he needs to check on/with me constantly, but whatever it is, he seems to gain reassurance from eye contact with me (to the point sometimes I can't make him look away and he falls off gutters and into potholes etc )

    Riley I still always have treats with me when we walk, they just don't get offered consistently, but I still surprise them with a reward occasionally when they offer up some really nice behavour. As you will know, his interest in the treats wanes as he gets close to his threshold.

    Question: I've read conflicting opinions on whether its ok to stop if you see a scary thing approaching. Some say to keep moving forward at full pace and make the dog walk with you as moving out of the way of a scary thing is confirming to the dog that you think its scary too. Others say its ok to move off the path a little ways (where I can keep him below his threshold) and put him in a sit until the object/person is past. I have done both, but if he's really freaking I'm more likely to move him away a little and put him in a sit as dragging a reluctant mastiff isn't the easiest thing in the world to do. Plus I don't want to traumatise him any more...Any opinions?

    One more thing - what kind of thing were you thinking I could use the kids for? Just the ordinary day to day training so he gets used to them, or something more specific? And yes, I should be able to borrow a couple of them if I need to

    Thanks so much for your help.

  6. #16
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    I'm sure you'll hear other opinions on this one. But I think it's better to keep him under this threshold if you can. If that means directing his attention to something else or moving out of the way so be it. I just think the more positive experiences and the less negative experiences the faster you'll get him where you want him to be. But maybe there are situations where you can't move out of the way and then I think it's probably better to just keep on walking and acting 'normal'.

  7. #17

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    ‘dhru’ – have a really good look at the videos that Kikopup has put up. She covers just about everything regarding pups. Don’t worry about clicker training – just use a cue word.

    kikopup - YouTube

    I have picked these ones out for a start for you:

    Leave it command:

    'Leave it' from dogs and people- clicker dog training - YouTube

    Let’s go command:

    How to stop lunging and barking- Train 'Let's Go!'- clicker dog training shy reactive dogs - YouTube

    For shy and reactive dogs:

    Shy and Reactive Dog Training- 3 Calm Treat Deliveries - YouTube

    You said that Abe is scared of some kids and their bikes and skateboards – so use them to desensitise Abe and show him that all is OK. Start off slowly – but get him to meet the kids on neutral territory.

    As ‘bernie’ said – introduce Abe to the kids, bikes and skateboards. Get the kids to go for a walk with you – no bikes or whatever to start with – then build it up slowly.

    As far as the scary things he sees – it depends whether the thing is stationary or not as to how to tackle it ! I think the videos in the above links should help with this.

    Again the way that you handle things – will affect the way Abe will handle them ! As 'bernie' and 'margoo' have said - slowly will achieve more than rushing ! By going slowly - you can increase your confidence levels - so that you are not so stressed - which will automatically be helping Abe !
    Good Luck ! smiley-eatdrink004.gif

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhru View Post
    Ok thanks. If that's what LAT is then I'm happy that we've got that sorted. He's actually better than Sal at that - I think it has something to do with his confidence that he needs to check on/with me constantly, but whatever it is, he seems to gain reassurance from eye contact with me (to the point sometimes I can't make him look away and he falls off gutters and into potholes etc )

    .
    No I dont think you have it sorted. The theory behind the LAT game is that if a dog is very strongly conditioned to watch you, he doesnt get a chance to cope with the environment. So by watching you all the time and not feeling able to check out what is going on around can put stress on the dog and teaches him nothing about actually coping with what is causing the problem. So LAT is about rewarding your dog to look at what is causing stress. This game must always be played under threshold. Treat for looking at another dog for example. Do this often like a game. So the dog associates looking at his stressor as something pleasant.

    The next part of this is once the dog is comfortable with looking at his triggers that he doesnt fixate on them but turns his attention back to you. So after a brief glance he then turns his attention back to you. Lesley Devitt in her book controlled unleashed calls this teaching the dog to self-interrupt.

    On your other question when I used to take my fearful dog out I would always try to keep her under threshold by being proactive, so if I saw something approaching that I knew would send her over threshold I would simply turn on my heel and walk in the other direction, so she knew I would keep her happy and safe. She was eventually able to pass closely but only because I took a lot of time working always under threshold and getting closer over time.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 10-07-2013 at 03:10 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    No I dont think you have it sorted. The theory behind the LAT game is that if a dog is very strongly conditioned to watch you, he doesnt get a chance to cope with the environment. So by watching you all the time and not feeling able to check out what is going on around can put stress on the dog and teaches him nothing about actually coping with what is causing the problem. So LAT is about rewarding your dog to look at what is causing stress. This game must always be played under threshold. Treat for looking at another dog for example. Do this often like a game. So the dog associates looking at his stressor as something pleasant.

    The next part of this is once the dog is comfortable with looking at his triggers that he doesnt fixate on them but turns his attention back to you. So after a brief glance he then turns his attention back to you. Lesley Devitt in her book controlled unleashed calls this teaching the dog to self-interrupt.
    YAY! thanks heaps Kalacreek, I really needed somebody to break that down and explain it to me. So we're halfway there I will start immediately, it makes perfect sense.

  10. #20

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    ‘dhru’ – how are you , Abe and Sal going ?

    Here is a link to an article that was on a FB page feed – which I thought was very interesting ! Definitely not promoting the business – but the article is well worth reading !

    Stop Caring What Others Think and Stand Up for Your Dogs | notes from a dog walker

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