This video tells the story of a dog at a shelter that won’t get out of the kennel, no matter what. This dog is fearful of people and would show aggression when approached. A volunteer from the dog shelter contacted an animal trainer to change a terrified dog into a friendly one. Watch this video to learn how the animal trainer dealt with the dog’s fear and modified his behavior.
Fearful dogs are often overlooked in shelters and never get the chance to be adopted. So the animal trainer gave the dog the chance and helped him be a playful dog in less than five minutes.
The animal trainer started the session with no pressure. He just threw food or treats to the dog who was inside the kennel. This was not seen by the dog as a threat. It served a precedent that something good is going to happen soon. The trainer avoided trying to engage the dog and just introduced himself by giving him food which made the dog at ease.
Then the trainer went inside the kennel but he did not approach the dog immediately. Instead, he stayed neutral and did not go near the dog’s comfort zone. Again, the trainer threw some treats and eventually, the dog became interested and approached him. The trainer remained neutral as the dog went back and forth to him to get some foods. The dog would go back to his comfort zone from time to time until he became at ease with the person inside his kennel.
As dog’s interest grew, his fear eventually subsided. The dog’s movement and curiosity slowly overrode his fear. Now the animal trainer gained the trust of the dog.
The trainer approached the dog and put the leash on his collar. Then the dog led the trainer out of the kennel.
There was a big difference between the dog’s behavior when the trainer was outside the kennel and five minutes after. The dog became social, playful, and energetic. He also became completely relaxed and ready to play.
The video reveals the importance of desensitization and counter-conditioning to help a shy dog overcome his fear. The animal trainer in the video achieved his goal in five minutes. This might not apply to other dogs so patience is important. Some dogs can be very difficult to work with. The key to this training is to work sub-threshold.