Advising someone with a fearful or shy dog to expose their dog to whatever induces fear in them, without encouraging owners to have an understanding of thresholds, counter conditioning and desensitization, is IMHO, irresponsible. Every dog is different and just because someone has had success in improving fear based behaviors with their dog or even a number of dogs, using techniques such as flooding or [...]
Last night my scared boy Sunny came slinking up the stairs to join John and I in the loft. This is not something Sunny does on his own. Apparently he decided that being in the same room with John was the lesser of two evils. The other being in the same room with the crated bratty aussie pup. I may have to adopt that dog!
I'm not sure why it is people are so reluctant to accept that you can comfort, or reward a dog when it is afraid and NOT be telling the dog it's ok to be afraid. Doctors give little kids lollipops, we hug people who are nervous, we hold the hand of someone who is afraid and we are not causing them to become [...]
At an agility meet over the weekend I met a young woman who ran a rescue organization. She was at the event to run her own dog, a small breed mix that should be auditioning for the next Disney film it was so darn cute. Between runs we met in the parking lot, she had a different dog, a pom/chi mix that was visibly nervous. [...]
It is possible to change how a dog feels and behaves around the things that scare them. And even a dog that isn’t exactly the dog of someone’s dreams can have a good life and provide their owner with companionship and joy. But making this happen usually means changing how we think about our scared dogs. It means questioning the things we’ve been told about dogs and how they learn new skills.