Session #6: approach – touch chin – feed – retreat.
Session #7: continue with approach – touch – treat – retreat. Things go really well.
Session #8: Touching head, neck, and shoulder with one hand. Short session.
Session #9: Process isn’t always linear when we work with emotions. I mention the importance of respecting the trust established by the start button behavior.
- Petting her is going well. I proceed to touch her with both hands in preparation for putting the collar on her.
- Her increased comfort level shows: she lies down during the session.
- Thoughts on choosing an angle of approach that ensures she doesn’t end up being cornered.
- Last rep of this session shows the first time I touch her with the collar!
I start out by moving the collar towards her neck. Her body language shows she isn’t happy with this: my hands were easier to accept than the collar!
+ The element of satiation (more session in a day – the dog is less hungry).
+ Reasons I use low value food (kibble).
+ Her discomfort with the collar near her body becomes more pronounced.
+ I recognize that accepting the collar near her head is harder than I expected – this is not going to happen on the timeline I predicted.
THOUGHTS AFTER REVIEWING THE SESSION ABOVE
The original hypothetical goal was getting a collar on her within a relatively short time. Realistically – if I really had to reach this goal to take her to the vet – I would not spend more than 10-15 sessions of a few minutes each on this. I have not reached the goal!
After reviewing the video above, I asked the FDSA alumni group to let me know which of the options below they’d like to see:
Option #1: I’ll change the hypothetical objective, and show you how I would continue counterconditioning her to this collar, and eventually put it on her. New timeline: we have all the time in the world. I’ll make things easier – not move it all the way towards her – and then slowly continue from there. You’ll see lots of boring sessions: slow and steady for the win! The kind of trainer I am today would probably not continue along this route in a real-world scenario – but this is not a real world scenario, so anything goes!
Option #2: We continue the same hypothetical scenario: I need to put a collar/leash on this dog to take her to the vet; I’ve tried counterconditioning her to the collar, but counterconditioning hasn’t worked in time. I still need to take her to the vet – so I will be pragmatic, and put a leash on her anyways. I’ll show you how I’d do this in a way that keeps her stress low while still getting things done.
Option #1 was a clear winner, with requests to explain how I would work on option #2. Stay tuned for day 3!
2 thoughts on “The Brindle Girl Series – Day 2 (Sessions 5-12)”
Is it possible she distrusts the collar, because it smells of another dog? Or, alternatively, smelling too strongly of washing products?
Great question, Iva! The collar probably does smell of my dogs. The reason I don’t think this is a problem for her is that she has been sleeping on my dogs’ blanket (which probably smells stronger of other dogs than the collar), and drinking from the water bowl without hesitation.