The other day I got called up to the front lobby at work to help get a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy on the scale. She was fearful of it because she didn’t understand why it moved under her feet. Forcing her up there didn’t work and only made her fear worse. Both the owner and other vet tech were fed up.
I grabbed my training bag. In less than 30 seconds I was able to get that puppy up on the scale all on her own. She eagerly got up there and sat so politely awaiting reinforcement. We repeated the exercise a few times before she went into the exam room. After the appointment her mom brought her back up front and guess where that puppy headed to? The scale! She had learned it was a marvelous place to sit, and not something to be afraid of.
Two days later her mom called me up asking if I would help her puppy be more confident in everyday life. She was so impressed with how effortlessly I helped her get on the scale that she’s now signed up for private behavior modification sessions with me! I’m stoked to start working with her next week!
So a little goes a long way. Patience and understanding for a fearful dog goes so far to helping them feel comfortable and confident.