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Australian Shepherd Photo of the Week

Australian Shepherd Dog Photo of the Day

Perry Lopez

Pistol first entered our lives (my wife and I) when he was a fluffy 8 week old. We drove five hours to Tallahassee, Florida to purchase him. He's been a huge part of our lives ever since. Pistol will be turning 4 years old in January, 2013. We are presently training to complete in agility. I'm convinced Pistol was breed for agility and will soon be an agility champion. True to the breed, he is full of energy and requires 3 miles of walks daily to keep him semi calm.

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Training and Care — Tip Of The Week

Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
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Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Excerpt #79

Desensitization – Making Your Dog Comfortable With Something She’s Scared Of

Because dogs are all individuals, sometimes they’ll end up being scared of the strangest things. I’ve covered a lot of common problems in this chapter, but chances are you might come up against a peculiar problem that isn’t covered in this or any book.

When this happens, our 10 Training Principles are useful for figuring out what to do. When it comes to your dog’s fears, there’s also a general technique you can use to desensitize her. It basically consists of exposing her to the fear slowly and in small doses to expand her comfort zone a little at a time. Here are the steps:

  1. Set up a controlled situation with whatever it is that scares your dog.

  2. Make sure you have lots of high value treats to give. You can use your dog’s favourite treat here.

  3. Start exposing the dog to its fear in a small dose (eg. noise at low volume, a person at a distance).

  4. Start giving your dog treats, reassuring her and petting her gently.

  5. Gradually increase the source of fear (increase the noise volume, bring the person closer, etc.).

  6. Keep giving reward and talking to your dog.

  7. Aim to break off the exercise before you break the dog’s comfort zone – in other words, stop before she gets too scared. You want to push the boundaries without crossing them completely. Next time, you can go a little further.

Next time: What To Do When Nothing Works

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care


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Dog Quote of the Week

"Joyful, joyful, joyful, as only dogs know how to be happy with only the autonomy of their shameless spirit."

~ Pablo Neruda




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