As we prepare Rocky for the arrival of his new baby brother or sister we continue to desensitize him to things that make him nervous. Unfortunately his biggest trigger is young children because of a terrible incident he was subjected to when he was younger. Tonight we introduced him to a 4-year old girl who he had never met and, after initial excitement that included some barking, he was able to lay down and relax for a time.
TIP #1: IF IT'S NOT A PROBLEM, THEN IT'S NOT A PROBLEM
So many people feel guilty about letting their dogs do stuff, from sleeping on the bed to begging at the table. The thing is, if you like it, and your dog likes it, then there is no problem! Enjoy your dogs!
- Dale Ward
TIP #2: MICRO-TRAINING SESSIONS
Just as water can erode rock over time, micro-training day in and day out molds dog behavior. Opt for several short training sessions every day rather than long sessions every once in a while, like on weekends.
- Jean Donaldson
Today we worked on management techniques to help Lynx get over her anxiety when she meets new people. Her owners report that she is making good progress!
We had a great session with Samantha today. Her triggers are small children and moving things, so to make sure we would encounter some of those we went to a park where there were plenty of kids and a baseball game being played. She and her owners did great!
Poor Romeo. For the first 4 years of this beautiful and sweet Akita's life he has lived chained in a backyard with little human interaction. Because of behavioral issues, you ask? No, because he is deaf. Well now that he has been rescued by a wonderful family he has the freedom to run around a large yard and be loved. He is eager to learn and be a dog again!
Ellie is a cute-as-a-button Beagle mix, but she has a habit of pottying in the house, which isn't so cute. We showed Ellie's family the proper management procedures to help break this 2-year old's bad habit, and how reinforcing her for going outside, rather than scolding her for going inside, will fix the problem.
We met with Shelby for the first time. She is a cute, 6-month old Collie mix that has bundles of energy. At this point she doesn't know much more than Sit, so the next few weeks will be spent teaching her the basics.
Violet gets hit by the 'zoomies' from time to time, and when she does she gets extremely over-stimulated. To help combat that we worked on impulse cues Leave It, Wait, and Stay. She picked up on them very quickly.
TIP #1: ALL BEHAVIOR SERVES A PURPOSE
Just because the purpose may seem imperceptible or irrational to us does not make the behavior any less important to the dog.
Punishing symptoms of stress, including fear, frustration, and anxiety, won't eliminate the cause.
If the cause still exits, problems will persist.
- 4Paws University
TIP #2: KNOW YOUR DOG
If you know your dog is anxious around other dogs, or jumps on strangers, don't put him in those situations. Dogs do what works. If barking and lunging keeps strange dogs away he will continue to do so. If jumping up at visitors gets him the attention he craves, the behavior will increase.
Managing your dog's environment should be part of every training plan.
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CTDI