Today was our first session with Fiona, a
border collie/shepherd mix. Fiona is very fearful of strangers and large dogs, some of which live in her neighborhood. When people come to the door she gets very excited and lashes out by barking and growling. My first order of business was to try to gain her confidence. By being calm myself and rewarding her for reciprocating calm behavior, I was rubbing her belly within 20 minutes. We then moved on to teaching her to go to a mat by the door. By doing so we hope to give her a place she can relax, instead of getting overly excited, when someone comes to the door.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI