OBJECTIVE: To help a neo-phobic dog habituate to novel objects in their environment.
Dog/handler teams are appropriate for this exercise when:
- The dog is well bonded with and trusting of the handler.
- The handler is very sure that this exercise will work. If there is any doubt, consult with a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) that is experienced in working with fearful and reactive dogs before proceeding.
The handler will need:
- To read the recommended resources at the end of this document.
- A hungry dog with a properly fitting harness or collar, one that they cannot remove or slip off. Shock, choke, or prong collars should NEVER be used.
- A standard, 6-foot leash.
- High value treats such as freeze-dried liver, meat, or cheese.
- A yard and/or room large enough that the dog has space to feel secure in the presence of a novel object.
- A variety of novel objects that they can place in their home or yard.
When to Start:
- During a quiet time when your dog is not overly stimulated or excited.
- Enter the room/yard so that the dog is as far away from the novel object as possible.
- As the dog notices the object, give treats to the dog as long as they are not fearful or reactive.
- The goal is for the dog to see something in the distance and anticipate a yummy treat.
- Graduate to walking around the object.
- With success move closer to the object in future sessions.
- Are short and very fun – quit before the dog is sated, typically within five minutes.
- Happen frequently and are repeated in the same location until successful (don’t introduce a second object or a new location until you can be with the dog, giving treats, within 10 feet of the object without your dog becoming fearful or reactive.
- Are at the beginning level of difficulty until the dog sees something new and promptly looks toward its handler for the yummy treat.
- Are only gradually increased in difficulty as the dog is successful.
The goal is to be able to:
- Sit in a room/yard with different types of novel objects without your dog becoming anxious or reactive.
Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )
Help! My Dog is Aggressive, Reactive, Fearful, Anxious, etc. – What do I do? – WWM – APR2017 – http://bit.ly/HelpDogAggx
How Can I Tell When My Dog Is Anxious or Fearful? – http://bit.ly/DogsSignsofFear
Management of An Aggressive, Fearful or Reactive Dog – http://bit.ly/BhxManagement
Remedial Socialization – People – The Watch the World Game – http://bit.ly/RemedialSocializationPeople
Reward Based Training versus Aversives – http://bit.ly/RewardVSAversive
Understanding, Identifying and Coping with Canine Stress – http://bit.ly/Canine-Stress
What Is A Pet Behavior Consultant? – http://bit.ly/WhatIsPetBhxConsulting
What Should I Do When My Dog Does Not Let Me Take Something They Have Stolen and Snaps or Tries to Bite Me? – http://bit.ly/StealGuardGrowlSnap
What Should I Do When My Dog Growls? – http://bit.ly/DogGrowls
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