Last week when I arrived for our session with Apollo he barked and growled at me for 10 minutes before he finally let me all the way in the door, all the while being restrained by his owners. Today when I arrived he greeted me with reserved excitement, and he was not being held back at all. Ah, the power of positive association!
Rocco, a 2-year old Boxer, was recently rescued from a situation where he spent up to 20 hours in a crate. Surprisingly he is a good dog with decent manners. What's not surprising is he has a ton of energy and he doesn't know what to do with his new-found freedom. For the next few weeks we will focus on basic obedience and relaxation/calming techniques.
Lance is doing a great job with hand touching to help him overcome his fear of people reaching out to pet him. We also worked on meeting new people and dogs while out on a walk. In just a couple of weeks Lance has made great improvement.
Apollo, a 10-month old American Bulldog, is a very fearful dog, especially when meeting new people. He is also a very powerful dog, and it's important that he is under control at all times, so today we worked on reinforcing his Sit and Down, which he already knows. We also made sure to make everything a positive experience, even meeting me! When I arrived he barked and growled for the first 10 minutes, but through positive reinforcement and counterconditioning he was giving me kisses by the end of our session.
“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
- Mark Twain
Sara is a beautiful, 11-week old German Shepherd. Sara already knows Sit very well so tonight we just added the hand signal. After a short while she was sitting after only been given the hand signal - no verbal cue! We then moved onto Down. She did great before finally pooping out. Learning manners is tough for a little pup!
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, FFCP, CTDI