The Brindle Girl Series – Day 2 (Sessions 5-12)

Session #5

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.

Session #10

  • 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!

Session #11

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!

Session #12

+ 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!

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