Teaching an Anxious Aussiedoodle to Touch His Guardian’s Hand Instead of Moving Away

By: David Codr

Published Date: September 26, 2019

For this LA dog training session, we work with an anxious 1 year-old Mini Aussiedoodle named Henry; teaching him to touch his guardian’s hands instead of moving away.

I could instantly tell that Henry was stressed. He machine gun barked at me in a softly territorially aggressive way. I used a few dog behaviorist tricks and soon had him calm enough to take treats from my hand.

I was originally called in because the dog runs away from one of the guardians when he goes to put on his leash. But based on how anxious he was, I knew he needed to work up to that problem in a multiple step approach.

In today’s session, we focused on building up his confidence by rewarding desired behaviors, establishing a healthy leader follower dynamic by consistently enforcing rules and boundaries and motivating him to want to interact with his humans in a way that boosts his confidence.

The first step in stopping the dog from running away from the leash is to help condition Henry to approach the guardian on his own. I decided to use a hand targeting exercise for this first step. Its an easy exercise that anyone can do, even if you are not a professional Aussiedoodle dog trainer. This positive dog training exercise is easy and is a good place to start building up more confidence.

By teaching the dog to target his hand, the guardian can help create a positive association. When using Dog Psychology to modify canine behavior, you look for ways to create situations where the dog is the initiator. That way, the dog feels empowered and wants to do what we are asking.

I want the guardians to work on the things we covered in this in home LA dog behavior training session for a month before we take additional steps to build Henry’s confidence and address any remaining issues.

To help the guardians remember, we recorded a roadmap to success video covering the highlights from today’s session.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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