amazincc wrote:Don't try to distract him... play the "what's that?" game with him.
I think Erin is back from vacation, and she can explain this WAY better than I can.
hugapitbull wrote: Do you stop the 'look at that' and hope for better results next time, or do you try to calm the barking with the 'look at that'?
TheRedQueen wrote:I love the LAT game...(Look At That)
Inara used to bark like crazy at the mail lady...EVERY day. EVERY day. And she's got a bark that can peel paint.
So with positive reinforcement (clicking for looking at the mail lady) and classic conditioning (mail lady = treats) we've got this problem under control. She'll still bark a little bit at other people, but it's decreased greatly.
Here's what I did/do:
I'm sitting at the table typing a message on PBT. I hear the mail lady truck coming down the street...or worse, I'm completely ignorant until Inara hears the mail lady truck coming down the street. In the beginning, she'd hear the truck, and run to the window and stare and start to bark. A lot. I could yell at her, lure her away with a treat or toy, or put her away...and the behavior would continue the next time.
Then I started LAT. I'm sitting at the table, she hears the truck and runs to the window and starts to bark. I calmly get up, go to the nearest treat container and get a handful of treats. I go to the window and look outside with her. I tell her to "Look at that mail lady!" Of course she's already looking, and I wait until she takes a breath, then I click/treat. I tell her to "Look at that crazy mail lady!" she looks and I c/t. I tell her "Look at that mail lady! She's bringing us MAIL!" and she looks, I c/t. I only c/t WHEN she's LOOKING at the mail lady, and when she's NOT barking. If she looks at me, or the treat, no c/t. We get about 10-20 c/t in while the mail lady does the mailboxes around our house. When the mail lady moves on, out of sight...the treats and clicker go away, and I sit back down at the computer and ignore Inara again.
The next day or so, we repeat the process...and this time, the looking at the mail lady becomes a bit shorter in duration, and the barking has subsided a bit.
The next day, when the mail lady truck comes down the street, I hop up excitedly and say "Mail lady's here!" I run to the treats, then run to the window. We both look outside as usual, and I c/t for Inara looking at the mail lady.
After a few days, the barking was almost gone...and she'd jump up in the window and then pointedly look back at me..."Ummm...aren't we playing the LAT game?!?" The stress brought on by the arrival of the mail lady was decreased...and it was now a FUN game.
To this day, almost a year later...we play only sporadically...maybe once a month or so...just enough to keep her interested. She'll still look out the window at the mail lady, but no barking. We will sometimes just run into the kitchen together for treats when we hear the truck.
The goal of the LAT game is to keep the dog from continuing to stress about something that they are reactive about. If the mail lady is causing the stress/anxiety/fear/excitement...then NOT looking at that (luring away with a treat, getting a time-out, getting eye contact instead)...doesn't make things better necessarily. As I tell my puppy class (we work on this with all of the puppies now)...I'm scared of clowns. They creep me out, and I'm uncomfortable with them. If one walked in the room while I was teaching puppy class, having me focus on something else (looking at someone's face)...isn't going to help me. I'm liable to be MORE scared...as now I won't know where the creepy clown has gone in the room...has it left the room?!?!? Is it right behind me?!?!?! I'd rather keep my eye on it...thanks very much. If Inara is scared of strangers (mail lady), then not letting her keep an eye on the person doesn't make her LESS scared of that person.
airwalk wrote:Oooohhhh so act excited rather than trying to murder him....I got it! The murdering part may be what kept getting in the way
TheRedQueen wrote:My favorite article on manic alert barking...by Debi Davis.
http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... arking.htm
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