How to Introduce a Shy Dog to a New Dog Walker with Video Tutorial

dog walker

How to Introduce a Shy Dog to a New Dog Walker with Video Tutorial

Hello there everyone!  I've been fiddling with videography (rather poorly so far but I'm learning) in order to record a lecture series on dog training.  So I decided to film a bit of a lesson with Hank the Rescue Pibble.  Please be gentle on my terrible filming skills- it's a harsh learning curve.

Hank is in the process of behavioral remediation, so it was important to take small steps to introduce him to his new friend, Rachel.

Background before the lesson:  

Hank has progressed beautifully and is a happy, healthy dog, although he still needs guidance to keep him on the right path for now.  He is learning he has a furever home with his lovely family.  It usually takes dogs a minimum of 6 weeks to adjust to a new environment, so Hank is still learning to trust his new surroundings.  Part of instilling that trust is teaching Hank what he is supposed to do and what he is not allowed to do.  This is integral in confidence building with a dog.

Hank is not quite ready (soon though!) to join his sister at doggy daycare.  So we did three lessons specifically tackling the dog walker issue before the video.

1. Lesson 1:  In the first lesson, I came to the house during the day when his owners were at work to see how he would react.  He was sweet and friendly- not protective of his environment or crate...but he refused to leave his crate.  He seemed convinced if his mom told him to stay there, that is where he should stay.  After all, in Hank's doggy mind, he does not want to upset his new furever mom and risk his new home he loves.

2.  Lesson 2:  This lesson was with the whole family.  I went on a walk with everyone.  Then I had them wait in the foyer while I put him in the crate in the other room, walked out of the room, came back in and let him out of the crate.  Mom and Dad were waiting just around the corner, so the decision to leave the crate was easy peasy.  Next I repeated the process with them in the hallway outside the door.  I did this a few times, going through the same routine we would do if I were to take him out during the day.  He learned his family was pleased with him allowing this sequence of events and they were waiting just outside the door.

3.  Lesson 3: This time I came back during the day when his family was at work and needed him walked.  After the previous two lessons, Hank was eager to greet me and come out of his crate.  We put his leash on and out the door we went.  He paused briefly disappointed his family was not waiting in the hall, but quickly decided he would make do with me.  After all, walkies are fun and exciting!


Transition to the Dog Walker:

You can watch the video, or I have briefly laid out the steps we went through to get Hank to accept the new dog walker.

1.  I went into the apartment and got Hank ready for his walkies just as in Lesson 3.  Rachel the dog walker was waiting in the hallway to greet him this time.  We did a quiet intro with a bit of obedience to put him in the right frame of mind.

2.  Then we all went back into the apartment so Hank could see Rachel was allowed to go into the apartment.  Lots of Hank snuggles ensued.

3. Then we all 3 took Hank on a walkie (his bladder was bursting at this point).  While on the walk, I had Rachel take over after a bit.  I gave her the leash and she did some obedience with him to instill the point that she too is a Super Dog (biped dog to be obeyed).

4. When we returned to the apartment, we repeated the steps we did in Lesson 2, except I stood in the foyer and Rachel did the crating, un-crating, and leashing.  Then we did the same with me in the hallway.  We did this for several repetitions.

Hank decided he was cool with the whole thing and Rachel was pretty awesome.  I am looking forward to hearing his progress report on his first walkie with Rachel alone.

Halloween Sale Extra 6% Discount + Free Shipping on all PET SUPPLIESDog training is a process.  It takes tiny baby steps and sometimes it's a three-steps-forward-two-steps-back kind of endeavor.  But if you are careful to do the processes and patient, the results are worth it.
Hank is worth it.

Sammy the Dog Trainer

P.S. Everyone has their personal preferences, but I do encourage adopting and not shopping.  Although I love my responsible, ethical dog breeders and their customers as well.  Have a lovely week!


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