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Old 08-09-2006, 10:42 AM
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tinksmama tinksmama is offline
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Default Clicker/behavior mod??? help?

I'm still in the process of finding a trainer(yes,it's taking a while, but I have to wait for responses, then some referrals) in the meanwhile, I'm still working hard,and I wonder, is behavior mod possible with Tink? I'm talking specifically, fear of new people coming near,or a strange dog coming near also.
I'm getting familiar with how to train a new behavior this way, but need a link to understand behavior mod and click training..if you can understand? it's like i get most of the puzzle,and it's working, but there's a piece or 2 that I can't figure out-
At a picnic yesterday, she was fine with kids coming to pet her, (love that smell!) but grownups approaching too fast made her fearful- and sort of shrink away, she never had the opportunity to do anything, i just asked them to step back a step, let her sniff them first,then she was fine. And she'd love playing with the little ones, but if they walked away,and came came back around the corner 2 minutes later, she'd sound the alarm and bark at them...not mean, just make a racket.
So what's the piece I'm missing to help change her reactions, or simply teach her to ignore if she needs to?
BTW, her behavior at home with our family is 100% better now, she's been excellent in temperament with everyone, my youngest has been helping train her on the NILIF program, and she's been very respectful. It seems that age is helping her "get" her place in our family. Also, now she's older, old dog won't tolerate naughty stuff anymore, which is teaching her a LOT. (thank you old dog )
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:24 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Yes, you can use a clicker....click/treat when she is calm and not when she's acting afraid. Or you can just give her attention and a treat when she's looking calm.

The other thing that's important is that you don't react or make any fuss over her when she's shrinking back or acting nervous. It sometimes makes the dog think you too, are worried about something. Just act confident and friendly and that should rub off on her a little. If you pay attention to her, fuss over her when she is afraid or submissive, that will tend to teach her "learned helplessness." It teaches her that that feeling and frame of mind, actions ARE what you like and is the way for her to be in order to get attention/reward. So, be careful you don't inadvertantly take much notice of her fearful times.

More exposure (socialization) with people....always pleasant encounters, nothing overwhelming or scary is good. Associate treats with people. You can ask people to give her treats....or toss them to her if she's afraid. Socialization continues throughout the life of the dog but should be really a lot when they're pups.

If she's a small dog, that too can make her shrink back. My little Chihuahua girl is very friendly to strangers, is not one bit afraid, but if anyone is looming over her, reaching down, she too will look submissive. There's something about feeling like an ant on the ground and looking up at a dinasaur. LOL. Then she gets over it.

But no matter how you train, clicker or no clicker, there's nothing that can replace socialization and pleasant associations with people.

It sounds like she's really doing well in other areas. Keep up the good work and let us know how she's doing. Well done!
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