There are a lot of reasons why we as dog owners/parents/caretakers sometimes allow ourselves to slack on training.
Sometimes life gets hard or hectic.
Sometime we get lazy.
Sometimes we work with other dogs all day and we forget we have a project pup at home…:cough:
Sometimes it’s easier to avoid our dog’s obstacles and triggers than it is to keep it up with hard work and consistency.
For whatever reason, sometimes we mess up. And while that’s completely fine in some behavioral cases, it really isn’t for Rufus.
This dude thrives on repetition and positive association.
So after a few incidents in which I found myself avoiding situations or completely shocked by Ru’s reaction to a trigger, I decided to dust off the old “dog behavior” book pile and strap on the treat pouch. Time to get back to work.
The Cautious Canine outlines the most straight-forward approach to correcting unwanted behaviors rooted in fear. And for the most part, Ru’s behavioral quirks (to put it nicely…) are all rooted in fear. It’s a subtle fear, but it’s definitely there…
Here are our baby steps:
- Keep him a safe distance from his triggers and reward him for being brave and calm in those situations. In this case, that means FEED HIM ALLLL THE TREATS!
- Be consistent.
- Slowly shorten the distance from said triggers while continuing to build up his confidence and reward him for his progress.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
It doesn’t seem like much, but it works! I plan on making this a mini-series and keeping all of you out there up to date on Ru-man’s progress. I hope you like this kind of stuff as much as I do. Dog behavior nerds unite!