“It’s incredible how the dog conditioned the owner …!” – about control and conditioning

“It’s incredible how the dog conditioned the owner …!” – about control and conditioning

“It’s incredible how the dog conditioned the owner …!”

So I was allowed to read it in a Facebook group as a critical comment on the video “with Tali in Heiligenhafen”.

What can I say, the author of these words is right!

Whether human or dog, both have to learn to control the environment with their behavior, otherwise it is very difficult for them to survive. If you lose control over your life, about the things that happen around you, the dogs are not much different from us humans. The “Burn Out” syndrome “e.g. is on everyone’s lips and many people suffer from it. Many a dog I watch outside shows similar symptoms. I can’t say if the dog is talking about burnout, but it’s worth thinking about it.

Back to – my dog ​​controls me:

  • He acts – He shows me a deer because he has learned not to take off when he sees deer.

I react – I mark his behavior with a marker signal and reward him.

  • He acts – He sees a dog coming towards him, turns, walks a slight arc instead of pounding away

I react – I mark his behavior with a marker signal and reward him.

  • He acts – A person suddenly comes around the corner; Instead of pounding away, since my dog ​​actually has problems with people falling short quickly, he pauses briefly and withdraws.

I react – I mark his behavior with a marker signal and reward him.

Does my dog ​​only control me? I look at other human-dog teams:

  • A dog growls at a fellow man and jumps on the leash, he acts.

A person reacts, jerks on a leash / hisses words / pinches the loins / names a negative marker with a positive punishment.

  • A dog should run behind its caregiver, the dog swings briefly to the side. Human reacts, hisses / kicks backwards.

Admittedly, my comparison lags somewhat. My dog has learned that if he shows behavior, there is a very good chance of being rewarded for it. So he shows it. With pleasure. He knows that his needs can be largely met with my help if he cannot satisfy them independently from the environment. It’s just not possible for me, e.g. To be able to “rush wildly”. I have become an important point in his life.

The dog that jumps on the leash and communicates loudly with another member of the species does not do it to get a leash or similar from the caregiver. to get. Nevertheless, the person aligns his behavior to the dog’s reaction.

But – reaction, action, everything is flowing and mutually dependent. The moment we are together with another living being, there is no other way. Fortunately, I have a choice of which way I want to go!

I have conditioned my dog ​​to various marker signals – I have also conditioned myself. Classic conditioning. It always catches you somehow. My brain cannot defend itself against it. Every marker signal I give is received in my brain just as positively as in the dog. I even babble intermediate bridges in front of me when I have to stand things myself – taking blood from a doctor e.g. .

I train relaxation signals with my dog ​​- the slight smell of lavender oil and the mention of the relaxation signal also work for me in the moments in which I use them. Very useful in situations that are also more difficult for me to understand and I rely on a well functioning forebrain.

I am happy to reinforce my dog’s desired behavior with positive reinforcement. My dog ​​shows behavior from his own effort, he acts. I add something pleasant for the dog, something that gives him joy and satisfies his needs. What happens to me? I am happy with him and enjoy the atmosphere. Our reward list is long and by far it doesn’t just include different types of treats. So it won’t be boring for both of us! Needs are diverse.

Reinforcement is a process and this process takes time. Every time I’m happy that I was able to capture my dog’s behavior through positive reinforcement, it also reinforces my behavior. I show it more often, I’m looking for the desired behavior more and more! My dog ​​gets even more good with every repetition. He will show his behavior more and more frequently; it gets safer every time.

As long as the self-rewarding part in the behavior that has already been learned is low, and that is sometimes the case, I have to, if I want to maintain it, regularly further strengthen / reward. But honestly, is that so bad? I give him his rewards and like to be generous.

People so often take away the right to punish, inhibit, hiss, jerk, physically threaten. I like to take the right to regularly reward my dog ​​for his behavior.

One last thing:

The moment a dog’s behavior is successfully inhibited by the influence of his caregiver with a leash and / or hiss, etc., that person will use it more and more often because it has apparently worked in the situation. Whether an alternative behavior shown was subsequently rewarded is less important at the moment of inhibition. The behavior of this person will also be reinforced with the repetitions. The punishments become independent and increase. Or it may be punished more violently if it stops working. The fact that the dog shows many desired behaviors with all the undesirable behavior that is inhibited is often hardly noticed by his caregiver.

I was caught in this trap at the time and I would almost call it a vicious cycle. Then my dogs showed me that the “inhibition” didn’t work as I was used to all these years. I started to despair. What should I have done? Become more violent in my actions, as recommended to me? It was not an option for me.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart that they got me out of there and that there were people who helped me and who are still by my side.

Losing control of situations is a very uncomfortable feeling …

“It makes a difference whether a dog follows his dog out of fear of being punished for making a mistake or whether the dog is the attractive center of a dog’s life.”

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