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.
Lunch when you’re to lazy to make anything else. Today I found myself super busy and I baked a lemon cake for Mother’s Day and had a lot of cleaning/washing up to do. By 5pm I was drained and ready for bed! I had a good talk to my dog after breakfast, which probably seems weird as she can’t understand me, but as we (my family) put her to sleep on Monday I felt like I wanted to thank her for all her love and happy memories, even though she had no idea what I was saying. Maybe this will help me say goodbye. I am so tired right now (probably emotion based) and excited for sleep, but first I want to journal and draw and obviously I need something for dessert before I settle down. Oh, and I have the kitchen to clean for the hundredth time today, yay.