gif: dr


B&B hugs are my favorite hugs of all the time. 

“You can’t wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug.” - Unknown


Imagine pulling pranks on Stephen Strange.

“[f/n]! What have you done to my cloak?” Stephen demanded, his limbs flailing as he struggled against the cape.

You just laughed as it tugged him this way and that, “I have no idea what you mean, Doctor Strange.” Of course, that was a lie. You had gotten the cape in on your prank war and you had made sure it was on your side. Your idea was purely harmless so it had readily agreed in its own way. It was fun to mess with Stephen. He was so uptight, after all.

Stephen yelped as the Cape of Levitation continued to pull him around, “[f/n]!”

“Maybe try turning it off and back on again!” you called, grinning. The cloak seemed to look at you in shock and you held up your hands in a placating gesture, “Okay, okay, just kidding. Carry on.”

Gif Credit: Strange


As a contrast to the previous gifset, I wanted to make one with the classic video by Dr. Sophia Yin showing counter conditioning in action. This is a dog that had been displaying aggression severely enough to be up for euthanasia. The stimulus prompting aggression in this video is having his face blown on. While we don’t hear anything about the dog’s history, it’s pretty easy to assume that this is fear-related, as shoving your face at a dog’s face is pretty aggressive body language, a lot of smaller dogs have fear-related aggression due to their boundaries being ignored, and I don’t see any resource-guarding behavior.

You can’t draw a complete parallel, but there are a lot of similarities between this video of an aggressive dog and the video of the aggressive horse. This dog seems to be making a big aggressive display and then retreating, instead of continuing the attack with the intent of causing serious injury. The horse had its movement restricted to the round pen, and this dog has its movement restricted by a leash. Both are unhappy and dangerous animals.

Dr. Yin resolves the aggression by pairing the provocative stimulus (blowing on the dog’s face) with food. After only a few brief sessions and a bit of time, the dog no longer exhibits aggression when prompted. He doesn’t enjoy the stimulus (he still moves his head back and away, and there’s a bit of lip licking) but having his face blown on no longer provokes aggression. Instead you can see eagerness for the treatment and what looks like enjoyment of the exercise (tail wagging, what looks almost like a play bow or an attempt to get a reward with a behavior he was taught, ears forward, open relaxed mouth, looking up at her face). His emotional reaction and outward behavioral response are dramatically different.

I don’t present this as an example of why counter conditioning with food is a preferential miracle cure (dogs are a lot more likely to exhibit aggressive body language, so the horse probably had way more of a backlog of fear, whereas this guy’s fear could be worked around relatively quickly. I also wouldn’t ever recommend anyone tackle aggressive body language straight up with a leash restraining the dog, and definitely not by blowing into the dog’s face, where it’s so easy to get bit) BUT this shows a similar scenario, similar aggression, and a different protocol for resolving the problem that doesn’t involve the use of an aversive stimulus to work around aggression.