Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Step 2 Countering and Firm Grips Copy

Countering – Solution for Chewing and Shaking of the Sleeve

It is brilliantly simple – the dog that is countering (pulling) cannot chew. We will show you how to teach your dog to do this.

We will use a round agitation table to help us teach dog countering.

Step 1 – Environmental Cue for Countering

  • The dog is back-tied on the table.
  • The leash is a little longer than the distance from the center to the edge.
  • Tobias gives a very easy bite to the dog and pulls the dog towards the edge.
  • The dog in anticipation of falling off the table begins to counter (pulls back).
  • Tobias marks countering and releases the pillow – 03:22 sec.

Step 2 – Secondary Cue/Leash – 04:19 sec.

We need to plan ahead and prepare ourselves to fade the agitation table. The only way we can do it is to replace the table’s edge (which serves as a cue to counter) with a different cue.

We will use Classical Conditioning to create a new signal. We will use a leash for this purpose.

Right before the dog’s feet reach the edge of the table, the Handler will apply leash pressure. As before, once the dog reaches the edge he will begin countering. Over time, leash pressure will become a cue for countering.

Under the rules of Double-Reinforcement system:

  • Once the dog counter, the Helper marks.
  • Then the Handler releases leash pressure (Negative Reinforcement).
  • The Helper releases the pillow (Positive Reinforcement).

Step 3 – Chewing Correction – 06:43 sec.

If the dog starts rebiting, we will use verbal Negative Marker and within 2 seconds provide a consequence – pop on the leash. The instance the dog stops, we will tighten the leash and reinforce as described above. Please be mindful of your force.

Step 4 – Secondary Cue/Helper – 08:42 sec.

Of course, we cannot use a leash in a trial. We have to fade it and replace it with another cue. What do we have left? A Helper!

  • The new cue will be Helper locking up.
  • The dog is still on the agitation table.
  • The dog gets a bite, and Tobias moves to the right.
  • Tobias locks up (exaggerating so it will be easier for the dog to see).
  • Immediately after lock up, the leash is tightened as a cue to counter.
  • Once the dog counters, mark, release the leash pressure and then let go of the sleeve.

The new cue for countering is the Helper locking up.

You can show the dog both escape and pressure phase.

Step 5 – No More Agitation Table – 09:48 sec.

The same exercise as before but the only cues for the dog to counter are Helper locking up and the tightening of the leash.

We go through a few repetitions and check if the dog will respond to the Helper locking up and without changes in the leash pressure. The dog learned the new cue – 10: 56 sec.

Step 6 – Chewing – 12:03 sec.

All we are doing in this step is reminding the dog just like in Step 3 that there are consequences for chewing.

Of course, it is more comfortable for both the dog, the Handler and the Helper to move at a slower speed during these exercises until the dog has a clear understanding. Once he does – try to find different Helpers to help generalize this knowledge.