As challenging and frustrating as living with a fearful dog can be, learning to work with one successfully is the best education any trainer (and we are all our dogs’ trainers) can have. Here is my Thanksgiving thought of the day:

One of the ways that shy dogs help us become better trainers is they force us to acknowledge that they are behaving the way they are behaving for a reason, and even if we don’t like and can control the behavior, it behooves us to consider what elicited the behavior in the first place. We can suspect that for many dogs, but especially our shy ones, stress of some kind and at some level is motivating them. Our response can either add to or help decrease that stress, you make the choice.

Don’t forget to cut up some leftover turkey into small bits and put a few bags in the freezer so you have them on hand for counter conditioning sessions with your dog. And go ahead, eat too much pie!