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Fearful Behavior in Dogs

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It can be found on “Fearful Behavior in Dogs” playlist.
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3:11 – I no longer recommend having anyone outside of the “circle of trust” to deliver treats a nervous dog because I find that this usually leads to unrealistic expectations to several problems. The person begins to think “ive given this dog ALL this food, now we should best friends!” People that have been tossing food will generally attempt to engage the dog, or start creating a gingerbread trail to coax the dog to come closer. This leads to a conflict of interest: a dog that wants the food but that is becoming increasingly stressed because they are being pressured to move closer. Trusted caregivers are the only people that should use food to condition positive associations. Ask unfamiliar people to ignore your dog, even if the dog approaches to sniff.

I also no longer use a clicker because I find most fearful dogs are usually sensitive to sounds. In many cases, I found fearful dogs became increasingly nervous with the repetitive sound of the clicker. This is why I’m going to recommend using verbal markers instead.

3.37 – The term “positive exposure” is very subjective. A person might think that they are providing positive exposure, but the dog might perceive the interaction to be aversive leading to an intensification of fear and anxiety. In class we will talk about how to objectively assess your dog in different situations to make sure that training and exposure is helping to minimize stress and move your dog in the right direction.

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