Whatever...


Teach your puppy that things that might be distracting are just predictors of something good coming from mom. This way if something is scary, look to mom. If something is highly arousing, look to mom.

This will give you a chance to help your puppy and give your puppy a way to cope with things that might be too much for them.

One way to teach the puppy is to play “whatever!” games where you entice them to look at stuff that is actually pretty boring and then reward them for being bored by it.

Here are some tips:

Go around the house, and show your puppy stuff, that is pretty neutral. For example, show them a cell phone, a lid to a sauce pan, a T-shirt. When the puppy loses interest in it, reward them with play. The purpose of showing them boring stuff, that doesn’t move, smell good or predict food is so that they lose interest quickly!

Work up to objects that are more interesting (look at a car going by, look at a dog running, look at a skateboarder, look at a garbage truck...)

As your dog becomes more proficient with the game, you can label the behavior of looking at boring stuff “what’s that thing?” and because it predicts something boring to look at, but also predicts a game with mom - your dog can be encouraged to have a neutral response to something that otherwise might be pretty arousing or scary. You’d like them to be able to look at it and think: “whatever!, lets you and me play instead”

© 2017 by Andrea Dexter @ Agilityflix