Tuesday, May 4, 2010

If you can't beat 'm join 'm

I have begun rewarding George for baying...once...

My evil plan is to use a counterconditioning protocol (Dr. Pamela Reid- Excelerated learning) to change his motivation behind the machine gun barking when he feels the need to be vocal...to bark once.

In a seminar that Leslie attended of Dr. Reid's, she mentioned that she used this technique to countercondition a lip snarl with her resource guarder...and in turn, because the dog was reinforced for the lip snarl...it changed the emotion behind the snarl...That's it! I taught Daizy to bark on cue when she was a puppy, but never George for whatever reason....

He's done it naturally for in other situations; bark once if he needs to go out, sit/down bark once to "show me" a toy or something he can't get at, so I know he can use it to communicate without the anxiety that comes with the machine gun bark. There's too much anxiety behind it, I prefer the one bark better...he is less stressed once he gets it out of his system.

So far so good! Tonight we tried it out (chips as a reward) and it was very well received..mind you he had a look on his face with his lip stuck...almost as if to say.."you want me to ....bark?"

I parked the car close to a low traffic store...then sat in the car to wait for the bait....then....person in this case.

1-bark, then "yes" in an impressed voice but not over the top excited as I want him to remain calm.
2-then chipsss, a handful of them actually....until he stopped barking and continued to enjoy his chips (crunchy and takes time to eat...plus...he LOVES CHIPS!)..
3-then I said "thank you" for the quiet and him looking at me...

*important they CHOOSE to focus back on you so you can give calm biofeedback...and praise and cuddles of course.
** If they don't then you need to work further away from the trigger.

Then I got out of the car but rolled the window down a bit and waited again for 'bait".....then repeated the same thing above........then we left.

1-bark, then "yes"
2-then chip.sss....until he stopped barking and continued to enjoy his chips (crunchy and takes a long time to eat...plus...he LOVES CHIPS!)..
3-then I said "thank you" for the quiet and eye contact, gave him the sleepy eyes, calm biofeedback and we left!

I was only there for about 5 min tops...just a couple times, one in the car next to him, one outside the car. I always start off in very short increments first off to build value for the game...then they look forward to playing it again!

1-building value (one bark = rewards! treats, toys, fun, snuggles, whatever goofy things your dog LOVES BEST)
2-transferring value (raise criteria....one bark + then quiet for a couple seconds 'thank you" before the rewards...so you've now transferred the value of the one bark to being quiet.....)
3-balance for the bahaviour rather than the reward.....(one bark + quiet "thank you" = calm happy state, mix in rewards on occasion to keep life interesting)

I was reminded of that from Control Unleashed book. She just put out another dvd and it's on it way to ME :)...I like the first clip to reorient to owner when going out of the door.


My plan is to get back to the one alert bark rather than this machine gun bark.

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