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  • Revisiting Respondent Techniques - Change the Behavior by Changing the Emotions. Presented by Alexandra Santos

Revisiting Respondent Techniques - Change the Behavior by Changing the Emotions. Presented by Alexandra Santos

  • 23 Nov 2020
  • 1:00 PM
  • 23 Nov 2023
  • 2:30 PM
  • Recorded Webinar


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CEUs: PPAB 1.5, CCPDT 1.5, IAABC 1.5, KPA 1.5

When working towards solving behavior problems our focus tends to be on the behavior. This happens for a couple of reasons: firstly, behaviors are much more noticeable than the emotions that drive them; secondly, from the human perspective the behavior is the problem, not the emotion. From the dog’s perspective, however, the emotion is the problem, not the behavior!

It is true that respondent conditioning and operant conditioning occur almost simultaneously, which results in an interplay between emotions and what the dog learns from punishers and reinforcers. Because of this interplay, we prioritize the “get the behavior” approach. But how much faster could a behavior problem be solved if we prioritized the “change the emotion” approach? Let’s remember that emotional states are antecedent stimuli, that motivation is an emotional process, and that emotional responses are more immediate than thought-out ones.

This webinar will revisit respondent techniques such as classical extinction, systematic desensitization and counter-conditioning, as well as explain how to apply them effectively taking different variables into account.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the impact of emotions on behavior.
  • Become aware of emotional states as antecedent stimuli.
  • Learn how motivation contributes towards reinforced behaviors not being displayed and punished behaviors being displayed.
  • Learn why emotional responses are more immediate than though-out ones.
  • Understand classical extinction and how to apply it, reinstatement of an extinguished response, renewal and spontaneous recovery.
  • Learn the various types of counter conditioning and how to apply them effectively.
  • Develop skills to ensure a smooth desensitization process.
  • Avoid the pitfalls of flooding.

About Your Presenter


Alexandra Santos

Alexandra Santos is a professional canine behavior consultant and trainer, with formal education through The Animal Care College in the U.K. where she graduated with honors for the Diploma of Advanced Canine Psychology, and through The Companion Animal Sciences Institute where she graduated with distinction for the Diploma of Advanced Dog Training.

She is the author of the books “Puppy Problems”, “Puppy Training: How to house train your puppy effectively”, “How to leash train your dog and enjoy walking him”, “O meu cão e eu”, “Cão educado, dono feliz” (published in Portugal), and has also authored and co-authored several articles for the Journal of Applied Companion Animal Behavior and the International Institute for Applied Companion Animal Behavior.

Alexandra lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal, as a guest professor at Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias and provides individual coaching for dogs and their people. She has been a presenter at several seminars in Portugal and Brazil on positive reinforcement-based training and regularly presents webinars for the Pet Professional Guild.

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