Desensitization

The process of Desensitization may take several days, weeks, or even months. Procede at a slow enough pace so your dog never becomes fearful during the process. If you move too quickly it will not be successful.

How to Use the Technique

  • Begin by exposing your dog to a very low level or small amount of whatever it is that's causing his fear. For example, if he is afraid of bicycles, start with a bicycle placed at a distance of 100 feet from your dog.
  • Reward him for calm, non-fearful behavior in the presence of the bicycle.
  • Gradually move the bicycle closer to him. As long as your dog remains relaxed, reward him with treats and praise.
  • If at any time he becomes anxious, move the bicycle further away and proceed at a slower pace.
  • When your dog can remain relaxed in the presence of a stationary bicycle, move the bicycle 100 feet away again, but have someone ride it slowly by him.
  • Again, gradually increase the proximity of the slowly moving bicycle, rewarding your dog for remaining calm and relaxed.
  • Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary, gradually increasing the speed of the moving bicycle.

Using this technique along with Counter Conditioning will help your dog overcome fears.

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Timid Shy Dogs
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