Avoiding Anticipatory Behaviours


Anticipatory behaviours are behaviours that can occur in dogs and all animals, when they are anticipating something is going to happen. For example, if you have a set routine of, putting your shoes on, picking up your keys and then leaving the house, or putting your shoes and picking up their lead before taking them for a walk. Your dog will pick up on these ques and may start anticipatory behaviours when you leave such as panicking, whining or over excitement. These can then lead on to more problems such as separation anxiety, or over excitement when leaving the house on a walk, which could result in you not wanting to leave you dog, or walks not being enjoyable.

One way to avoid these anticipatory behaviours is to desensitise your dog to the ques. You can do this by performing the que, and then not it not coming to anything, and not sticking to a set routine. For example, put your shoes on and sit back down on the sofa, or even walk around the house and then take them back off. This will teach you dog, that not every time you put your shoes on you are going somewhere, so they learn not to react, as there is nothing to react too. This means that when you do eventually leave the house there is not a build up of anticipation to panic your dog.

The same can be applied to over excitement when they see their lead. Put there lead on and then don’t leave straight away, or take it back off shortly after. This can prevent excitement as not every time they get their lead put on they are going for a walk. Another tip to help with this is to not leave the house until they are calm, as they will learn that they need to be calm to get their walk.

This principle can be applied to many situations you have with your dog, such as not giving them their dinner at the same time daily, to prevent them whining for it, or when running them a bath, leave it for a while before putting them in, or even during training sessions. Dog can anticipate what command you are going to ask for next and may then preform it before asked.

So in summary; mix up your routines, mix up your training sessions and avoid certain ques causing these anticipatory behaviours, and you could also be helping with not causing problems such as separation anxiety and over excitement.



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