With solid positive training and lots of trust the most scared, out of control, anxious dog can become a model canine citizen.
When I first met Benny he was the saddest looking dog I ever met. He could not make eye contact, always looking at you out of the side of his eyes. He actually looked mean.He was not cute or smiley or cuddly or friendly.
He was aloof and standoffish and you knew you had to earn his trust before anything else.
So step by step that’s what we did.
Being very quiet with him brought huger responses.
Never moving too quickly around him and letting him learn that he could trust this one human.Clicker training was begun right away and a lot of sign language. The less noise around him, the less speaking, the quicker he responded.
His greatest reward I discovered was being held. So he was only held when he did something I liked, such as being quiet or sitting nicely and waiting for his food or running into his kennel when I said Go to Your House.
At first Benny was a tremendous barker. He barked for hours on end, at everything. Bunnies, birds, dogs, people, the wind, leaves, everything.By ignoring his barking and slowly teaching him the Quiet command he soon understand that Quiet gets him what he craved most – ME!
Benny also had tremendous anxiety and episodes that had him flinging his body against a wall or door, breaking blinds and almost going through glass doors. These episodes were extremely frightening to watch. This little guy just couldn’t relax.
By teaching him to trust me and learning how to redirect his fears everything changed.
Especially his look.
Gone was the mean, terrified look.
Gone was the curling up in the fetal position in the back of his kennel.
Gone was the shaking and barking and running.
Benny’s appearance developed as his personality developed.
His expression softened and smiles replaced scowls.
His demander calmed down and replaced anxious outbursts.
He became a secure, confident dog – the dog he was always meant to be.He learned how to have fun and play and be a dog.
He became one of the best, most natural therapy dogs, loving everyone he meets and wanting to share his story and journey.
Benny is a prime example of how the right owner match, positive, kind training led with patience and trust can change a dog, inside and out.