Monday, August 30, 2010

Aggression Seminar

Yesterday at PosiDog we had an "Understanding Canine Aggression" seminary by Ken McCort.

The focus on behavior patterns in dogs and vocabulary was fabulous! And I really loved the focus on "There are a LOT of ways to change behavior!" I know that any time we need behavior change, it's easy to get stuck in "we have to do x or y or z." But there are always so many options for behavior change, let alone when we start to combine and select available options.

A few key notes:
- Ken pointed out that aggression is not a disease. We can't say we will treat it... we CAN change behavior. But it's not something we treat and are done with.
- Motor patterns are super cool! Coppingers book is a must read. Aggression is a type of motor pattern associated with foraging, reproduction or hazard avoidance. It's not a different/special/obscure thing.
- Dogs send and receive signals. Most signals sent are not intentionally thought out, but unconscious motor-pattern type response to a threat/the environment. Some dogs have trouble properly reading given signals.
- Terminology needs to be more consistent and standardized.
- Predatory aggression is very mis-named. Predatory motor patterns are normal things predators do.
- Most of aggression is about fear of loosing space or resources.
- Many in the group were intrigued to learn about LRS (Least Reinforcing Scenario). I didn't realize it was a less-taught piece of trainer skill.
- Many people underestimate or don't sufficiently understand the natural history of dogs.

Off to change clothes and get ready for evening classes!

No comments: