About technique of behavior modification.
-About behavior change techniques-
This article describes techniques used to change the behavior of dogs. The specific method of behavior change also depends on the dog's behavior, age, and physical condition. For this reason, it provides an overview of behavior modification techniques.
Making the groundwork
Ideally, your dog should be as healthy as possible to encourage smooth learning. Lifestyles make a great contribution to the healthy functioning of the body. Consulting begins with adjusting your lifestyle and environment. This alone often improves or mitigates behavior.
・ Correction of lifestyle
・ Improvement of eating habits
・ Degree of involvement with the owner
Functional behavior assessment
In the case of problem behavior, we observe what kind of behavior is the problem and analyze the cause (function) of that behavior. Based on the results of the analysis, we will change the behavior using behavior therapy. For example, the main behavioral therapies used for behaviors such as barking and attacking dogs, people, and other subjects are "systematic desensitization, antagonistic conditioning, and differential reinforcement." These behavioral therapies require practice for a period of time before the dog acquires new behaviors. The practice period also depends on the degree of individual behavior, practice frequency, living environment, and living environment.
In practice to acquire new behaviors, we will implement a training program based on the information obtained from functional analysis. It mainly presents and removes reinforcers. Reinforcers choose food, toys, owners' interests, and other things that dogs can benefit from. For anxious behaviors (separation anxiety, frightened escape, trembling, defecation / incontinence, etc.), follow similar procedures using reward presentation and removal. In case of anxiety, it takes time to improve.
Puppies training focuses on training methods to prevent behavioral problems and the acquisition of the skills required by the owner. In either case, we will perform basic groove training (* 1) and use the skills acquired in this training to create new actions.
・ Main problem behaviors that can be dealt with by behavior therapy
Attack-related behaviors: chewing, attacking, barking, jumping, chasing, getting angry, etc.
Emotional instability: Emotional ups and downs, hyperactivity, etc.
Anxiety-related behaviors: scaring the outside, reacting sensitively to noise, scaring the sound, etc.
Anxiety Disorder: Separation Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, etc.
Psychiatric disorders: stereotypedness (stereotyped behavior), learned helplessness, etc.
* Stereotyped behavior: Symptoms of repeated self-harm such as continuing to lick the legs, chasing the tail, biting, and attacking
* 1 Groove training replaces relaxation training in human cognitive behavioral therapy with dogs. The name is unique.
Groove training is practice for owners and dogs match the breath. This is to create a relationship where you can sympathize with each other. This training is always fun when the dog is calm. Groove training between the dog and the owner will improve the relationship between the two. The purpose of this is to strengthen the relationship of trust and acquire the skills necessary for behavior therapy. The main training is as follows.
1, Name exercise
Create a positive perception of your dog's name. Dogs will be happy when their name is called and will be able to focus on their owners. Even when the dog is stressed by some kind of stimulus, calling the name makes it easier to shift to positive emotions.
2, Eye contact Ver, 1 & Ver, 2
It is a training that allows the dog to focus and focus on this without any command. The purpose here is for dogs to make voluntary eye contact. For this reason, we do not give any instructions or orders to make eye contact. Dogs will think for themselves and focus on their owners.
3, Follow me exercise
It is a training for dogs to move while concentrating on their owners. This training is also a practice that allows the dog to walk with the owner as a result of his own thoughts without giving specific instructions or orders.
The behaviors acquired in these trainings are used to expose them to stimuli that cause problem behaviors and to provide behavioral therapies such as systematic desensitization and antagonistic conditioning.
・ Systematic desensitization
A technique in which the intensity of the stimulus in which a reaction occurs is weakened and gradually exposed, and the intensity of the stimulus is gradually increased to prevent the reaction from occurring.
・ Counter conditioning
It is mainly performed as a set with systematic desensitization. Exposing to the stimulus that causes the existing disgust, and repeating the pair presentation of the reward, the disgust disappears. A technique that can change from disgust to expectation depending on the conditions.
Other behavioral therapies, or behavioral supplements
・ Environment maintenance: How to improve the environment where problem behavior does not occur and reduce behavior, living environment, etc.
Differential reinforcement: differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (DRA), differential reinforcement of other behaviors (DRO), differential reinforcement of low-frequency behaviors (DRL), etc.
・ Social learning: How to place in an environment that elicits imitation behavior and acquire desirable behavior
・ Nutritional approach: Adjustment of nutritional components, supplements, etc.
Dogs convey emotions to us through gestures. By reading the body language emitted by the dog and understanding the state of the dog's mind, behavior therapy will proceed smoothly. In addition, dogs get a great sense of security when they realize that their feelings are being conveyed to their owners. This has a great effect not only on the treatment of behavioral problems but also on the growth of puppies. You can also read body language and communicate our intentions to your dog in body language so that you can communicate with your dog. This point needs to be mastered by the owner.
Number and duration of trials
The number and duration of exercises to acquire new behaviors will vary greatly from individual to individual. It also depends on the situation and environment in which the dog is placed, past experience, physical condition, personality, gender, age, and heredity. Consulting is usually conducted 3 to 6 times per course. However, if the dog is traumatized by intense pain or fear, it may be performed 10 to 15 times. The interval between consultations depends on the symptoms, but in most cases it is ideal for about 2 weeks.
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