I’ll be speaking at the Aggression in Dogs 2022 conference in Providence, Rhode Island.
This conference will be offered both live/in-person and with live streaming so open to anyone around the world who wants to participate.
Great line-up of speakers, and I’m honored to be among the presenters.
My topic: From House of Cards to Solid Foundation: Practical RCT Techniques for Aggression Cases
Do any of these warnings sound familiar?
- Just don’t look at him
- Don’t look into her eyes
- Don’t try to touch him
- Let her warm up to you
- He doesn’t like hats/glasses/shoes/men/women/you
With each warning phrase – “He’ll be fine as long as you don’t . . .” handlers of dogs with aggression issues try to guard against another incident, another bite. But unfortunately, they do not realize they have built a house of cards that is fragile and likely to collapse under the stressors of life.
Four basic Relationship Centered Training techniques help create a solid foundation of skills that are invaluable in the resolution of many aggression cases.
- Auto Check-in – Easy to teach volitional attention shift
- Really Real Relaxation – Authentic relaxation for handler and dog
- Attentive Cooperation – Putting real life rewards to work
- Go Say Hi 1-2-3 – Orchestrated greetings
Each of these skills promotes improved handler observation skills, awareness of the dog’s thresholds, recognition of body language and behaviors that signal arousal shifts, and identification of training situation vs. management moments.
For the dog, these skills are based in volition and agency, with the benefits of self modulation, authentic relaxation, social interaction and clear communication carrying into real life application. Each skill can be practiced using positively arousing stimuli to develop fluency prior to the presentation of triggering stimuli.
While easily taught, each of these RCT techniques has profound and lasting effects on the dog/handler relationship.