The four commonly understood functions of behavior are sensory stimulation, escape, access to attention and access to tangibles.
Lo and behold, the animal, who really wants that functional reinforcer, starts doing the behaviors that pay off… the safer behaviors… and stops doing the behavior that doesn’t pay off any more.
The constructional approach to behavior change involves creating situations in which a learner (human or non-human) can get what it needs and wants in exchange for doing behaviors that work better for them and their families than what they’re doing now.
My goal with Constructional Aggression Treatment is to show the dog that I understand their concerns and I’m going to make sure I get their needs met. It’s not very sensitive of me to try to feed my friend when he is frightened. First I need to lead him to safety.