Flooding in Dog Training – Darren part 2 (k9-1)



Flooding is a technique in dog training and behavior modification that has a high potential for abuse and misuse. This video shows the flooding being used as part of an aggression rehab plan on a dog named Darren who is 10 years old and has never allowed a man to put his hands on him during the eight years he was at a shelter. We decided to use the technique after careful consideration of what would be the best for Darren’s and the trainers’ safety and as the better option in our opinion to allowing him to experience longer periods of stress through the weeks of worrying about being touched as compared to one shorter spike of stress with almost instant improvement to his overall quality of life with us. We appreciate constructive criticism and opinions to help us better improve our strategies in our rehab programs with the dogs that have no where else to turn.

Please leave comments, opinions, and suggestions on our corresponding blog post located at:

http://selfhelpdogtraining.com/wordpress/?p=115

Thanks for watching!

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34 Comments

  1. +Dog Training by K9-1.com I just believe you should have tried, by yourself, trusting in the quality of your own work, less harmful alternatives before use flooding. The "positive only" trainer may have done a shitty work (I'm not saying that all "positive only" or progressive reinforcement trainers are incompetent, only that anyone can fail). But I totally agree with your considerations. Good job anyway.

  2. REGARDLESS of the dog being considered more social aversive or stressful behavior modification is not acceptable to the so called "all positive" or "primarily positive trainers' THIS MEANS EVEN IF IT RESULTS IN KEEPING THE DOG FROM BEING EUTHANIZED.  It is politically and morally unacceptable to use those 2 banned  quadrants of operant conditioning. There can be no compromise.

  3. Thanks for the video guys, it's always sad to see a dog go through stressful situations but you did a good job of explaining your point and reasons. I am not even saying I would do the same but I respect those who acknowledge and admit the pros and cons of the training they choose to use.
    No lying, blaming behavior on dominance and naming learned helplessnes as calm.

  4. Darren is 10 years old and looks like he's got a little arthritis in his back legs. Most dogs don't get it evenly distributed in the hind legs. Most of the time one leg has worse arthritis than the other. Sometimes they have arthritis in different joints than the other leg causing them to favor it differently. Sometimes, however, it is because one is scratching the dogs "rump" which some dogs enjoy a bunch and the will stand funny and sometimes walk a little funny while being rubbed there.

  5. sometimes time and or money is also a factor. CC for some dogs takes forever and not everyone is "dog town" that has unlimited resources and will house the dog in the case of failure forever. hence people stating to just "euthanize"

  6. While you are throwing cookies at the mini poodles in sweaters in all your videos, someone has to work with the dogs that need more than that. Again, we have plenty of dogs you can help out. Just let me know which one you want me to send so you can show us how it is done.

  7. We are competent trainers that do use CC and DS successfully and sorry that was attempted by an accomplished "positive only" trainer but it got the dog no where. If you would like to come pick Darren up from us be our guest. But, unfortunately you and other "positive trainers" are going to do nothing but act like unprofessionals and bash trainers that have took the time to learn more difficult training mechanics. You will not find me trolling your "cookie" only videos. We are helping dogs.

  8. No, this dog would be better off with a competent trainer or behaviorist who can CC and DS successfully. There was absolutely no need to flood this dog. It wasn't flooding or death. This trainer is just making excuses.

  9. You guys do great work. I have some experience with dangerous dogs and for you to help Darren out is wonderful. Your article on your experience with PHS brought me to this. You guys are great and explain things well. Thanks for your help with a dog like Darren, most people would have this dog put down in an instant, you're true hero's. We need more people like you in shelters more often. Great job.

  10. Sheesh! They haven't finished with him yet. It is an ongoing process. After just two short weeks, this dog has done a 180 turnaround. They are not planning on adopting him tomorrow! Dude….use some common sense. If they can get him to this stage in two weeks, haven't you the foresight to see where he may be after 6 months? Wow….

  11. I think in the right hands (like experienced pros like yourselves) Flooding can be an extremely effective tool with dogs like Darren. Obviously, in the wrong hands the use (or, rather, misuse) of the Flooding technique can have absolutely disastrous results. However, in this case it seemed to be extremely beneficial overall.

  12. I'm sorry but you might as well put the poor dog to sleep because you've now spoiled things for the rest of his life at the shelter. I wouldn't feel comfortable adopting this dog out to anyone. He has learned that someone holding him has the ability to touch him when its unwanted. So who knows if he is gonna generalize that and become comfortable with everyone after using that technique. Ask yourself, would you let your child walk up to him and pet him after doing something like this?

  13. Great video and blog post. I think flooding (like a lot of other techniques) is very misused because people focus on the good outcome they want without considering the potential side effects. It's great to see you guys are thinking very clearly about what's best for Darren, and it shows in the level of stress he exhibits before/during flooding and after; clearly a big improvement. Enjoy your videos!

  14. @msminnamouse

    This dog would be better off euthanized than with people like you>> wow, just wow. for all the emphasis people like you put on treating dogs humanely, you fail to see you have become part of the problem.

  15. Yeah, the flooding worked so well that this dog really started loving the affection you were giving him. I can tell by his tucked tail, crouching to appear small and face licking in appeasement. You don't care whether this dog enjoys being with humans or not, you want a robot that is going to allow petting because you force it to. What shelter would give you people a dog? This dog would be better off euthanized than with people like you.

  16. Re: COTTON- Cotton was NOT cured. He went on to have his teeth lasered down in more desperate attempts to 'fix' him using dominance based training techniques. The description of 'stalking' behavior by CM is silly. Paw raises are commonly used by dogs to indicate uncertainty, fear, appeasement.

  17. @claudiahoyle The problem was there really was no "below the threshold". We had to walk him, clean the kennel, etc.Just being near us was stressful. Also, counterconditioning and desensitizing was tried before with him for YEARS at the shelter, not only did it not work people still got bit. Normally I would agree with you, but in this case it ended up being the safer thing to do and worked. What you see in the video was the worse thing Darren had to deal with. He is doing GREAT today.

  18. I understand completely what factors you had to take into consideration here. He/you needed ONE person. You obviously also know that any blowback from a flood CAN be dealt with. Most folks can have NO idea what he was like off camera. I do. I've been rehab'ing severe DA/HA/HFA's for yrs. To my way of thinking, in Darren's case specifically, it was crunch time & you had no other choice. Way to go guys, great work. Keep it up! Give some lovins to Darren from me. He's a VERY lucky boy. 🙂

  19. @k91dogtraining actually it seems tome that you are frustatitng the snapping habit
    the dog understands that his snaps have no efects
    pn the other side he accustomed to be close to human with no danger

  20. @ThePsittacine "It" is affection. We follow specific rules about when it is best to offer it during training. There definitely is side-effects of all "quick fixes" especially making a problem worse if someone misjudges the situation. I have not seen the "Cotton" episode, but I can imagine that not everything was done in the right order for the dog. I write a little about my opinion on Cesar in my asociated blog post found in the video discription.

  21. Can you define what the "it" is that Earl is withholding? I feel that flooding can be used, but rarely and only by pros and only in desparate, time sensitive situations. How do you guys feel about Cesear and what he did (or did not do) for Cotton? Will you also tell your viewers of the side-effects of the flooding "quick fix"?

  22. @ThePsittacine There was only that one recorded session of flooding so at least one of us could snap a leash on him safely. The guy "Earl" that the dog seems to prefer in the video hasnt been able to get his hands all over Darren yet, but as you can see the patience of withholding it from him is paying off since it seems to make the dog want it more now from him since he now knows how good it can be and Earl has just begun to offer it. Also, Earl is more handsome. Maybe I'm just jealous…

  23. So did you only flood for only the starting of the training, and then you transferred to +R? After watching the video I scanned through it and noticed that the dog very much preferred the human that used the +R. The other guy that used the flooding always had to tug on the dog's leash to get him to interact with him.

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