9 thoughts on “You can not Reinforce Fear, But you can encourage it.

  1. Enjoyed this video – good on you for tackling a difficult subject. I use the toddler example myself when attempting to explain how to not encourage fear in dogs, especially during desensitization training.

    • Saying thank you would just not cut it for this lol. I just want to say how great it is when after having many many discussions on the subject and people just putting me down and saying that I’m wrong, I knew all along I knew what I was talking about and people were just taking it too far out of the box. It gives me such a buzz when someone else recognises something and when they agree. It makes you feel like that whole time, you weren’t going mad! haha.Its a touchy subject and because I am only studying, people underestimate how much I have learned, But its just common sense. The toddler example is great. Do you ever get the argument from people saying “but by using that example, are you not putting human feeling on dogs as well?”.. and I’m like nooooo! because its just a known fact that you can encourage someone to be more scared than they need to be, and this works for dogs as well. Thank you again so much for commenting. It gives me the drive to keep going 🙂

  2. I honestly don’t get into the anthropomorphising arguments anymore. Dogs and humans do have similar minds, but also different. That’s all there really is to say about it. Taking about “putting human feelings” onto a dog doesn’t prove or disprove anything. What works in human and non-human behaviour modification is the same imo- whether or not people want to admit it.
    “Don’t Shoot the Dog” is a great book if you haven’t read it
    ps. You’re very welcome:)

    • I really should stay away, but the canine behaviour world is very clicky in itself, and when you tread on someones turf, they feel the need to debunk your thoughts and methods, even if you believe in the same thing, so it doesn’t matter anyway as long as we are all promoting the best thing for the dogs. But thank you again. I have heard about that book and it is one to add to my collection, my easy read at the moment is Think Dog and my more study, scientific read is Applied Dog Behaviour and training volume 1 Steven R. Lindsey 🙂

  3. My next blog post is going to be about a very similar thing 😉
    Be sure to let me know of any books that you find particularly interesting – I always have a few on the go!

  4. Good for you!!! … A wise head on young shoulders! Steve Lindsay’s books ought to be the cornerstone of EVERY practising trainer … I am purposely excluding the word ‘behaviourist’ as to my mind, a behaviourist ought to practise what they advise, in which case they too are trainers – those who refrain are anchored to academia! … I have all 3 volumes and have read them God knows how many times over … The first Volume has more of my own writing in it than his!!! … I’m only 40, but it’s refreshing to see a young, keen and more importantly ‘unblinkered’ and open-minded individual entering into the profession! … Couple of points for you – totally constructive 😉 …
    I DO believe that it is possible to reinforce fear, as with any emotive state … There is a prevalent belief that to reinforce means to provide tangible reward, or that by reinforcing, we are increasing. But that isn’t quite correct (you are!). To reinforce is simply to increase the likelihood of a particular response to a certain stimulus (or stimuli) in a specific (or similar) environmental context … It needn’t ‘increase’ in severity …. only become ‘stamped in’ in terms of frequency and predictability. So YES, you are correct in that we can encourage fear, though in doing so we are simultaneously reinforcing it! … You made the point of it being permissible (that’s not a dig – not in any way, shape or form!) to comfort the dog who attempts to pelt out of the door during a storm .. Bear in mind that some dogs are believed to perceive the storm as coming from ‘within’ the house, whereas others will head indoors for cover … Therefore, comforting the dog which attempts to flee may well be counter-productive as it might well be interpreted as restraint within a hazardous/fearful environment by the dog, preventing and blocking an exit to a perceived place of safety – outside!
    Much in training and behaviour modification is ‘grey’ (as I’m sure you know and will come to know further)! For every study stating ‘black’, there are 5 more ‘proving’ white …. Get your hands dirty … Make use of that open mind and follow your gut …. I suspect that you have a bright future ahead owing to your questioning nature …. Never apologise for your own beliefs … Stand by them. Thank you for sharing this and the very best of luck for whatever path you choose!

    • Hello, thank you so much for your comment. Like i said above, it really gives me a buzz and pushes me when i receive feedback like this. I want to eventually have all 3 volumes but they are just so expensive!.
      You are correct and i agree with everything you have said, and I will tell you a little secret. Before making this video, I always explained it the way that you just did.. that technically, you are simultaneously reinforcing it, but because I got into so many arguments about it, but still had my stong view, I decided to make a video that slightly agreed with them but also put my point across, that you can encourage it to happen again. So i was guilty to giving in to people at this point, although i still stuck to my point that you can encourage fear so you should not really give the dog attention. Oh yes.. I’m definitely already aware the dog training world is like this. I am a member of lots of different groups on Facebook that discuss each matter. You are correct, I do question everything and your not the first person to say that, many people have said this before, and people get het up and annoyed and feel that i am trying to prove them wrong. I am merely questioning something that did not make sense as I could learn more. Half the time i walk away from the discussion knowing no more than i started with as people just seem to want to argue. I do get my hands dirty and I love learning about it. there is nothing i don’t want to learn about. Im about to learn about dog law now as well :). Thank you so much for your comment, it means a lot, and i can’t explain how much. I look forward to swapping opinions and reading more of your posts. hope to hear from you again soon.

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