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Hi!

 

When I first got my pretty Katie 3 years ago, she was a spook. Terrified to leave her crate, had to be coaxed down the hallway step by step, had to be carried outside and would panic and run inside anytime ANYTHING changed, from a new sound to a bird flying to the wind blowing. It's been a long, sometimes slow, three years, but she has come along awesomely! I have done a lot of training with her, and she is on generic prozac, which definitely is helping. But one thing that can not be under-emphasized is the importance of what you are using to counter-condition your dog. I'd been using cheese, because she really seemed to like cheese, and it was relatively convenient to carry around. But then, when I hit a plateau, I talked to my trainer and she agreed that I could use chicken feet during class. Oh. My. God! What a difference! As someone wisely pointed out, if you don't see a change in behavior when you are counter-conditioning in a relatively short time, it's because the dog is either over threshold or doesn't find the reinforcer to be reinforcing enough. The first class (with cheese), Katie balked at going up the steps, and basically endured class. The first class with chicken feet, she went up the steps no problem, and was engaged and alert during class. The third class, she was standing up in the car looking out the front window as we got close to class, and made the eager whine she does for going on the greyhound walk. The fourth class, we had out at a park. Here's some pictures from that:

 

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So it is possible for these dogs to make huge improvements. I never really thought I would be able to get Katie to be this comfortable outside. My initial attempts to walk her resulted in her going into full-blown panic mode and acting like a little bucking bronco, so this is a huge improvement. Just thought other people might be needing some encouragement. I'm not really sure of the best forum for this, so a moderator can move it if they feel it should be somewhere else.

 

Rebecca and Katie

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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That's great! For Sailor, it was bagels and cream cheese that turned him around in class :lol. Every dog is different. Have you tries dried tripe? Their eyes just about pop out of their head for it and it may provide some nice variety for Katie. Do you break up the chicken feet and give her small pieces or give them whole?

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You're doing a great job! Katie's a lucky girl to have landed with you.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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