Thursday, February 6, 2014

Clicker Expo 2014: Emily Larlham: Training for the Easily Frustrated Dog

reassess training plan: rate, timing, criteria, reinforement - what, how, and where? (encouraging calm behavior with reinforcement, calm delivery)

change the training picture: training environment, time of day, temperature, satiation (food and exercise), type of reinforcement, trainer

management and prevention
set up training session for success
if dog gets frustrated, interrupt him to prevent him from rehearsing undesirable behavior and change your training plan
use a release cue, attention noice, or recall (trained without intimidation) to interrupt
change location to interrupt, use fact that dogs don't generalize well to your advantage

lower stress in everyday life - everything is connected: decrease both "good" and "bad" stress; work on IC (LLW, calm greetings, default leave it); work on existing behavioral problems; correct amount of sleep; health - is your dog in pain, ill, or overweight?

remove intimidation: instead of NRMs; reassess plan; don't punish side effects of frustation (ie jumping, barking, pawing) - dog will not feel less frustration in future, get more side effects

monitor arousal levels: muscle tension, body posture, facial expression, etc

signs of frustration: shivering, barking, whining, growling, mouthing, jumping, humping, check out (walking away or lying down), inaccurate or incorrect responses, no response, anticipating cues, repeating behaviors, anger and aggression

overarousal related to reinforcement: don't train anything until the dog is not over-aroused by presence of food or toys

building a calm foundation: capturing calmness (use primary reinforcement to mark calm behavior rather than clicking); settle (watch out for "faking" a settle); handling and massage

looking between the ABCs: what could be reinforcing during your training sessions that you're not paying attention to?

train secondary reinforcers: train calm markers to be used when you need to have lower arousals, and markers conditioned with excitement to build drive
train a marker that means "you may or may not get a treat" and one that means "you always get a treat"

what to do if a cue or behavior triggers frustration?
retrain the behavior (with a different method if possible) and change the cue
if it's part of a chain, take it out of the chain, reinforce with contnuous reinforcement, then put it back in chain and still stop and R+
go back to basics

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