When a dog becomes fearful, they must adopt a coping strategy. This coping strategy will be something that makes them feel better. There is an unlimited number of things that a dog can do, some are common, like barking and lunging, whereas others are just weird, such as chasing nothing. With concept training, we need to consider what we DO want instead of what we DON'T want. When fear is involved, we want calmness and no reaction.
In 2013 there was a study conducted by Tom Mitchell. This study looked at what happened when a puppy was introduced to other dogs before the age of 6 months and then their behaviour towards dogs after 6 months of age. There was one set of dogs that were taught to be happy to see other dogs and play and interact with them, and there was another set of dogs that were taught solely to ignore other dogs and see them as a non event. Unsurprisingly, the first set of dogs, when they were older than 6 months, reacted to other dogs when passing on the street, in the park etc, whereas the second set of dogs were happy to just pass by. Due to this, we teach that no reaction is the best reaction and socialisation around other dogs does not necessarily mean interaction with other dogs.
But how do we grow this in our dogs? Well, we look at Concepts and you can read all about these HERE.