@DenverDogWhisperer Since 1994
to Help Your Fearful Anxious Dog
Tip: Throwing treats at a fearful unstable dog as too many trainers do and recommend is meaningless to a dog and only shows that the human distrusts, is nervous and does not know how to communicate with dogs or help their brain move forward.
Dogs (and all animals) have 5 drives: (1) Food, (2) Sex, (3) Prey/Predator (hunt/be hunted), (4) Defense (fight/flight), (5) Pack/family. The canine Food Drive will never be more important than a dog's Defense Drive of fight/flight, the PERCEIVED NEED to defend his safety and even life. This dog must be given the chance to learn how to cope and move forward on his or her own, and then enjoy the ensuing celebration of having successfully done so.
You are not going to lick an ice cream cone on a plane ride if the plane seems to be falling out of the sky for a crash. Similarly giving a dog a treat does nothing to alleviate any even inappropriately perceived need to seek safety from a threat. This is a downfall of "positive reinforcement" training only with a dog who has fear and anxiety.
Our forte is helping fearful, anxious dogs learn to achieve calm confidence, relaxation and trust.
We mentor you with a customized strategy which has techniques tailored to your dog's specific temperament and needs. Together we help your dog learn to confidently enjoy hurdling challenges and becoming part of all our world has to offer!
1. Affectionate Reassurance.
Holding, comforting, "It's OK, baby!"
Affectionate talk, touch and eye contact REWARDS a dog's insecurity. It tells a dog, "This is how I always want you to be!" which is of course not true. Instead we do not correct but communicate to the dog that we disagree with his/her state of mind and being. The minute that we do so, the dog chooses another strategy in brain with us waiting for mother nature to kick in and let the coping mechanisms which move the brain forward start to whirl.
2. Avoiding the Cause of the Dog's Discomfort and Fear
You steering your dog away from flapping trash can lids on the walk wrongly tells dog that he has good reason for grave concern. The same goes for picking up the dog when passing others. You tell him that you do not trust, are not confident and need his protection. Instead we OWN the environment instead of simply being part of it which gives our dogs great security.
3. Letting Fear Escalate Vs. Blocking/Disagreeing
You need to communicate "I disagree with what you are thinking and feeling" using a strategy of prevention EARLY instead of later intervention. If you do not communicate to the dog in a way he understands, he will never learn to cope using curious relaxation instead of fearful panic.
4. Ignoring Early Warning Signs and Letting Fear Snowball
Being overly shy and submissive, always tailgating you, and rolling over to meet others are all signs that your dog needs leadership help. Your dog always needing to be velcro'd to you as a shadow feels good to us humans, but refects anxiety that mother nature never intended.