Originally Posted by Criosphynx
I assume your familiar with marking and rewarding behavior? Like if you want the dog to sit, you say "yes" and treat...etc etc
I must be honest with you, I do not reward the dogs unless I had the time to follow through. In my case the majority of the dogs I work with are shelter dogs and I only volunteer on Saturdays to evaluate and work with difficult dogs. Had I had the time, then maybe this would help me...unfortunately it's not the case as there are many dogs that come in that have absolutely no manners...and to start - leash manners. That is my #1 focus for dogs that require quick remedies to get them ready for adoption. There is however an employee there that works on other issues throughout the week and what you describe is exactly what she does. Though I disagree with rewarding as a sole method...I must admit that I have seen a difference in some of the dogs that she took on. So in other words I would not toss this out of my utility bag.
You make alot of sense however.
I also get called upon many times to re-evaluate shelter dogs that did not make it up for adoption. These dogs I must evaluate for 'potential'. Those dogs that do not make it are euthanized sadly. I feel a huge weight on my shoulders as to what lives...and what does not. Guilt is my middle name.
If I find that a dog has potential and I find out what motivates them, I will approach the rescues that can assist who possess the ability to train or modify behaviours. Unfortunately there are not many rescues that can take on all these dogs at the same time to prepare them for adoption. So again I go back to square one and 'yeah or nah' the dog in question.
The #1 problem with alot of the dogs I see is food aggression or resource guarding (leash issues of course but this is certainly not a huge problem for rescues). Depending on the level of aggression, I will consult with the rescues to see if they can take. Majority sadly say no.
With your theory of rewarding...how would you use this method for dogs with food aggression? I personally do take on many dogs with this type of aggression and I am curious to know how you handle it using this method.