Another one of Sammy's fear-induced behaviors is charging strangers at the fence line in his front yard. Tonight I enlisted Kim and Ash to help. I used Kim to help me actually witness the behavior, then Ash was brought in to help calm Sammy, as he is much better when around another dog. Missions accomplished. Ash will also help at our next session when we work on door greetings.
Tip of the day: Know the value of your reinforcer. We worked with Lilly tonight and practiced going to her bed when a guest comes. She did extremely well when I was cueing her, but when her owners tried she was less responsive. I then discovered that my cheese was a much more powerful reinforcer than the crunchy bits they were using. Once they switched to cheese Lilly happily went to her bed when cued.
Violet is a 2-year old Labrador Retriever mix with lots of energy, and when she gets the zoomies she can get a little rough. Her family has only had her for 2 weeks so we are going to start with basic manners. She is a very pretty girl and I'm sure she will do well.
To help her overcome her nervousness around new people we taught Lynx the hand touching game and she loved it! After several minutes of it I was able to reach down and pet her without any negative reaction. We also worked on some counterconditioning techniques for when people come into her home. Lynx did very well.
"I love dogs. They live in the moment and don't care about anything except affection and food. They're loyal and happy. Humans are just too damn complicated."
- David Duchovny
Sammy is starting to make some good progress with the desensitizing to the cabinet where the food chopper is. I saw a video that his owner made and he does much better when I am not around! Should I be offended?
I met with Lynx tonight. She is a 3-year old Labrador Retriever/Border Collie mix. Lynx is nervous around new people. And when she gets really anxious her Border Collie instincts kick in and she tries to herd and nip people. At our next session we will implement a desensitization and counterconditioning protocol.
After a bit of a layoff with worked with Rocky again tonight. Rocky's family is expecting in a few months so we are preparing him for life with a baby. Rocky has a tendency to rush out doors, so we taught him how to wait patiently. We also worked on calm greetings when people come in the house, and we will continue to work on that, his biggest issue.
When I arrived Lilly settled down much quicker tonight, so we are making progress. We also taught her how to Go To Her Spot, a place where she can go and settle, and she did super at that. It was exciting to see such a hyper dog almost instantly relax when she went to her beddy!
Lexi loves to steal goggles and flip flops so we really worked on reinforcing Leave It, and she did really well. We also worked on another impulse control behavior - Stay - and she did great with that too!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI