Wolfie Seems Afraid of Me... What Can I Do?
Unfortunately, we see this more times that we would like. All doggie owners try to be good doggie owners, but sometimes we just blow our stacks. We get mad, yell & scream, and sometimes whack our "best friend". Bad experiences can leave very strong impressions with dogs and can last a long time.
So we messed up. What can we do to make it right with Wolfie?
One way is to practice an exercise called "V Feeding". This is a process where we use small treats or kibble to entice Wolfie to come to us, feel safe, and then allow him to move away. The entire point of this exercise is that we are allowing Wolfie to feel safe the entire time. Here is what you do:
- Get some small treats (Zukes Doggie Treats are perfect) or Wolfie's kibble.
- Have Wolfie about eight feet away from you. Throw a goodie to the left of Wolfie about seven feet from you. Allow Wolfie to go and get it.
- Now, throw a goodie to the right of Wolfie about six feet from you. Allow Wolfie to go and get it.
- Repeat the left and right process with the food, moving Wolfie closer and closer to you.
- When you have Wolfie about three feet from you, kneel down low to see if he will come to you. If he does, that is great. If he does not, that is not a problem.
- Now, start throwing goodies to your left and right at increasing distances from you. All you are doing here is reversing the process where you had Wolfie come to you.
- Once Wolfie is about eight feet away from you, praise Wolfie in your high voice. Stand still for a moment or two and then walk away.