Tag Archives: food rewards

Fearful Dog Sees Horses in the Park

Building dogs confidence with trips to see Horses
Building dogs confidence with trips to see Horses

On today’s post we are visiting the park to see the horses and greet other dogs. I am continuing to building this dogs confidence with trips into the community. Often I find that a dog will get better or worse when exposed to stressful events. Fortunately this dog will get better with each exposure to the event. On this outing we’re working at a new location so this is a big adventure for a little dog.

This is the same dachshund mix from Long beach that is staying with me for a homestay dog training program. Yep, he’s the one who is a little fearful. We started this trip by visiting a new store location and then moved to the park and eventually to the equestrian center. He had a little problem with the new store, but adapted nicely after we passed the automatic doors. On the way back he was much better with the doors. When you have a very sensitive dog you always need to be extra careful when working in new locations.

You may notice that I have a slip collar on this dog. With this dog the slip collar of choke chain is not used to make a correction. It is used because it is the safest collar to use with a very fearful dog. If the dog panics and tries to slip out of the collar it will not be able to get away.

You will also notice that I use a lot of food rewards with this dog. Not only am I using food, but I’m also asking the dog to perform a behavior. An interesting thing about the behavior is that executing the behavior requires some degree of self control. I’m asking the dog to come to me. Towards the beginning of the video you’ll see what happens when the dog is under too much stress, it won’t take food.

On this outing we encountered several new dogs. Although he was a little cautious of the new dogs he remained passive and peaceful.

Seeing the horses also went okay. He wasn’t exactly thrilled to see such large animal, but he did manage to approach the corral.

We ended the outing with a walk through the shopping center. By the time we finished it was a bit after sunset and time to go home

Dog Training Plan and Training Goals

Benefits of a dog training plan

From training our dogs we can learn that it’s often beneficial to have a plan. Planning is one of the steps that helps us progress toward our goals A training plan allows us to perform the appropriate behavior when an opportunity presents itself. Sometimes a training plan may be just having the right tools available at the right time. When working with their dogs, owners often don’t have food rewards available when rewards are most needed. When and where are the places that food is most often needed? I have found the main areas to be doorways and the main living areas. In my house I always have food by the front door, back door, and my desk.

If I have food reward available when they’re needed then what’s most likely to happen? When food rewards are available it’s more likely the dog will be rewarded for the desired behavior.

By having food handy I have made plans to use it.

“Making plans and calculating their outcome distinguishes rules of progression as a separate definable part of history.”
Andrew Ledford © 2000 –2009

Planning involves more than just training the dog, usually before I visit a new clients house I will look on Google Maps to evaluate the neighborhood. I want to see if the geography may contribute to any of the dog’s behavior.

Once I meet the dog and talk with the owners I will form a lesson plan for that day and beyond. During the first lesson I develop an idea of how I would like the training to progress, but I also try to remain flexible.

I do have a method or system. However, the order and how the training exercises are taught does vary.

This is a two part post the second part is on my self-improvement website.

Wishing you the very best in dog training and I life,
Andrew Ledford
I can be reached at 714-827-4058