I'd be careful to give treats when a dog is growling at another human. That seems very dangerous to me. The rest of the article is interesting but I'd need further research on it to prove it conclusive for me.
And yes, you should be careful tossing treats under any circumstances until you know what's driving the dog to react the way they are. I believe her approach is all about understanding what drives the dog to act the way it does and using conditioning to address that.
Haha! That was a great article!! I LOVE Patricia McConnell too!! She is fantastic, and i encourage Anyone to read her "The Other End of the Leash" book! Its a very amusing read too.
That article though really made me think about things differently. Hmmm.
I also love Patricia McConnell! I have a link to her blog from my blog. I read her's every day. I feel her recommendations are very helpful.
I found with Gentry, when he is feeling nervous about someone new, I toss them a treat and they offer it to him and he is much happier about meeting new people because of it. He does not get to growl at people however. I put a kibosh on that right away. Only when he is waiting quietly is he allowed to have the treat.
So I'm going to kind of hijack the thread, but it's on topic, I promise! I was lying in bed last night unable to sleep and got to thinking about this article. Then I thought about one of the concerns I have for when I get my puppy, and how I could use the techniques in this article to address it.
I live in a condo at the moment. My concern is the building fire alarm that goes off once in a while. It is a very, very loud blasting sound that goes on until the fire department has arrived and given the all clear. The first time I heard it was at 4am when I was asleep and I just about fell out of bed from the shock of how loud it was. The last time it went off I thought about how alarming it could be for my pup when I get it. I also thought about how stressful it would be for the pup if it went off when I wasn't home and it had to sit through the entire session of it. I always have to leave my condo when it happens, it's just too loud for me to bear.
Anyway, does anyonethink I can use a technique such as those talked about in the article to desensitize the pup before the first time it hears the alarm? Like somehow play a loud similar tone and get the pup used to it? Obviously I wouldn't undertake anything like this without talking to our pup class trainer first, but I wanted to get opinions. I would like to address this potential problem before the pup is totally freaked out by the alarm going off. I don't want to get home one day to a quivering mess who has just gone through a traumatizing experience and then have to deal with the aftermath! Thoughts?