I hear a lot of equestrians who are suspicious of training away aggressive behavior with positive reinforcement, because they believe you’ll just reward the aggression and make it worse. This is one example of why that isn’t the case.
Here’s a video of an aggressive jack russell terrier being trained with counter conditioning.
This dog reacts aggressively to having his face blown on. Without even waiting for desirable behavior and rewarding that, the trainer pairs blowing on his face with treating him. Aggression begins to dwindle almost immediately, and by the end of the video (a few days of work), his reaction is 100% transformed.
Remember that you can’t reinforce fear, no matter how much you reward it.
i really like this! definitely worth a watch guys.
Your dog didn’t learn not to be aggressive, it learned it gets treats when you blow on it so it looked at being blown on as a good thing.
And training a dog and training a horse are two completely different things.
Like I’m not saying the theory is wrong but this is a bullshit example
‘Your dog didn’t learn not to be aggressive, it learned it gets treats when you blow on it so it looked at being blown on as a good thing.’
That is exactly the point.
You turn a negative stimulus into a positive one.
You cannot erase aggression from animals, nor should you try to. The only thing you can do is teach them that the causes of their aggression aren’t dangerous to them, and can actually be fun or pleasant.
And while dogs and horses are different species, they both respond exactly the same to classical conditioning. See the video I posted recently for an example of how this applies to horses.
Okay guys, so I was asked to post my opinion on this video even though I was actually avoiding it, but oh well, here we go.
Overall, I actually really like this concept. It seems painless and possibly quick (it’s hard to tell the real time frame but whatever)
But there are a few issues I find with this overall procedure.
1) You are treating the response but not the problem. What I mean by that is that yes you are fixing the dog’s response to being blown in the face, but the aggression that the dog expressed is never really fixed. The dog still thinks that it can be aggressive to people and that it is okay. Which in some cases, that wouldn’t even be a big deal. The problem just occurs when you find another trigger for the dog but this time you don’t find it till someone gets injured. This is why I typically encourage people to fix aggression before fixing triggers.
2) There is a distinct possibility that you have just eliminated the response to ONE person. This statement is actually my weakest one admittedly, but there is the for sure potential that if someone else were to approach the dog and blow on it, it would still go after them because of how it associated the treats.
3) This is a small dog in a controlled environment with an experienced trainer. If the trainer was too slow with the treat, they could easily be bitten and teach the wrong behavior. There is also the fact that if this were moved to a larger animal, would your reflexes be fast enough to head off the aggressive response? This method actually requires you to antagonize the animal into a response then quickly slip it a treat. With incorrect timing and a large animal, you could very easily put yourself in a harmful situation. Let’s also say that the animal’s response to the stimulus is stronger than it’s desire to get the treat? The potential for something to go wrong here is very large indeed. You could in turn accidentally make a more aggressive animal.
Now, some people would argue that traditional methods could have the same sort of fallouts, which is true, but I would rather make people aware of what they are introducing themselves too rather than having them blindly follow.
If you are to use this method, please get some training first. Learn your proper response times and please start small so that the animal is always looking for the treat and is less likely to fully ignore you. Be careful when purposefully antagonizing animals please.