If there is a Setter pic here, then this is a Setters only page
The Effect of Anticipation
Building new habits, breaking old habits
first published August 2018
Always anticipate that anticipation will occur.
Habits written in stone
Author: Sarah Owings
KL: I think that is a good policy- dog’s needs first, our embarrassment second! We should never forget that nothing can be “unlearned”.
It sounds like there were more conditions having an effect not just the arousal of going for a walk?
How does he cope on long, long journeys? Does it become flooding to a degree?
SO: Your idea of popping the collie out right away, meeting a need, then working on the skill of calm in the car is brilliant. Anytime I can get out of the rut of “just waiting the dog out” (see video above), I’ll take it!
KL: Excellent. We do sometimes get stuck between the corner and a dark place.
I think the policy of “car-time” for EVERY possible reason except exiting for a walk has to be a contributing factor.
It may seem a bit odd to recommend a day out in the car for no other purpose than a 5 minutes chance at competition, but this element has made a significant contribution for more than our dogs.
The day starts with usually a long drive (for me, 2 hours is long although I know 2 days may be your average). Then we have to spend many hours waiting our turn, often 8-10. Although we get to socialise with other competitors, I like to set it up for the dog to have plenty to watch, different air-smells, occasional boring strolls and then a chance to compete.
I suppose it changes the context of being in the car significantly? I certainly get no excitement on arriving home!
Connect and Share
sounds like a biscuit …….
it is an interesting topic and one that touches home with me, as I imagine with many dog owners. I wonder how you would adress the following scenarios (taken from my dog history):
– rescued Dalmatian, 3 years old: would whine constantly during car-drives with intermittend barking at trucks or motorbikes driving up from behind, unless the travelling speed was faster then 80 km/h
– dog barking when travelling past certain landmarks that would or would not cue the location of the walk: like driving through a village and at THAT house: barking. I always drove past that house, never stopped and the location of the walk was several 100 metres past that house.
Your training plan adressed barking when decelerating/waiting to be released from the car. I still lack ideas on how to work on “barking/whining while driving”.
Once you have allowed the habit to develop you have to go back to the beginning to “undo it”.
What is maintaining and reinforcing this behaviour?
For the rescued Dalmatian (I have to write from memory, she died about 6 years ago) I would say, the movement of the car maintained the behaviour. But why only speeds slower than 80km/hour? She wasn’t car-sick. I can only surmise that the habit was started while living with one of her previous owners before she came to us.
I drove her for hours on country roads, trying to reinforce her during driving (no helper most of the time) for quiet periods. Letting her wait in the car, taking her to work, etc.
For the recent/actual barking behaviour at certain landmarks: the variable possibility that we will turn into that particular trail or turn at the next crossing which will then lead to another landmark that predicts another turn into a trail a bit farther away.
And, as this is a group, the first dog barking will lead to the others joining, making this a group behaviour.
My dogs have a tenancy to do this too Sabine, its one dog that gets excited and sets the others off. We do two regular locations that are safe for free running,the one dog starts revving up about half a mile before arrival another starts chewing madly on a large old bone. always in her travel compartment.
On distance travel, if I’m not quick enough to turn it off, the satnav has only to start saying “you have reached your destination” (even when you know you have two miles more to go) and he starts revving up again.