Counter Conditioning….What is it?
Counter Conditioning is one of the main tools used in behavior modification. It is often mistaken for “just feeding the dog” or ‘bribing”. When used correctly, it can actually change the way a dog perceives something. It is often used with reactivity, aggression, fear based issues, separation anxiety, and fearfulness of new people, dogs, or situations.
The plus side of counter conditioning is that there are no side affects to using this process and you are truly changing the way the dog feels about something. This is not a ‘band aid” on a situation, this helps get to the route of the problem and fix it. Counter conditioning is not usually a “quick fix”. It takes time to change an animal’s mind about something, especially when fear is involved. How long would it take you to learn to like something that you fear? It probably depends on the level of fear involved. The same goes for the animals. Below is a great example of Counter conditioning in action. It is amazing to watch the transformation!