Treatment Plans for Behavioral Regressions

willie in wonderland 2011

Or, alternative title: Adventures in the Willie Wonka Fear Factory. If you're cocking your head in confusion, this is about Willie's recent (and relatively new) fear of men. To review briefly: As a puppy he was pathologically afraid of other dogs, exceptionally sound sensitive and, in some contexts, quick to anger. But he adored people, loved everyone. As an adolescent, like many dogs, he developed new fears, and became cautious around unfamiliar men, but it was easily handled by having guys throw balls for him. I always knew I'd need to manage it and that I could never completely close the book on his fears, but it was easily handled and he usually appeared to be thrilled to meet unfamiliar men after about 4-5 months of counter conditioning. And then, three weeks or so ago, he barked Read More

Dog-Dog Reactivity II — The Basics

Thanks for all the great comments about your experiences with dogs who are reactive, whether it's to other dogs, or to people, or other objects. If you haven't read the comments, here's what comes out (at least to me) loud and clear: 1. There isn't any one method that works for all dogs. Dogs are "reactive" for a variety of reasons, including being afraid of other dogs, wanting to greet other dogs and being overwhelmed with excitement or frustration about it. In addition, some dogs seem to be helped by being first taught an appropriate behavior on cue, others do better if allowed to initiate it on their own. 2. The methods that seem to work best for most people involve teaching a dog to turn and look away from another dog, BEFORE the dog begins the problematic behavior. 3. If the Read More