Canine Magic

Share your experience and tell us how using positive reinforcement training methods has changed yours and your dogs' lives.

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Canine Magic

Post by ckranz » Sat May 31, 2014 2:35 pm

Most of you know that my girl Chloe does Pet Assisted Therapy work and has been working now for 8.5 years. There really should be some kind of award for that. Anyhow, even at her age, 11 now, she is still quite the special treasure. Our most recent visit was to a community college to help de-stress students taking finals and preparing for graduation. Our first job was to greet students as they were walking into a breakfast line for eggs, pancakes and waffles with all the fixings. There were many balloons around on signs and the promoters were carrying them around to advertise the event.

When one promoter was about 5 ft away from Chloe one of the balloons popped and part of the balloon landed on her head. While the noise made everyone jump, Chloe's ears just flattened slightly and she hardly notices the remains of the not popped balloon. I have seen many dogs and have 2 other dogs that would have been freaked out by the balloon popping. not the type of thing you can train for. But just a short time later the real magic happened.

After the lines ended the promoters invited us in and had a plate full of scrambled eggs for Chloe which she enjoyed immensely. Not many places provide a nice snack like that or the working dog. We then went around to the tables to continue talking to students and introducing Chloe. As we approach 1 table an older student kind of leapt up from her chair and backed off very quickly. She mentioned that she had a strong fear of dogs as she had been attacked as a little girl. Chloe and I of course backed off and greeted people on the other side of the table. The student kept watching us. We were near the exit when the student decided it was time to leave and take her last final. As I saw her approach I had Chloe turn away from her and lie down to be as little a threat as possible. The student came up and asked if she could touch Chloe on the rump which of course was OK. Chloe turned and looked very happily and relaxed as she was being stroked. The student then proceeded to move up her back and scratched her between the ears. Chloe was very happy as was the student. As she departed she let us know that Chloe was the first dog she as touched in over 20 years. The first dog that made her feel comfortable enough to want to try and get over her canine phobia.

Now that's the magic of Chloe and Canine therapy.

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Re: Canine Magic

Post by WufWuf » Sat May 31, 2014 3:20 pm

She sounds like an amazing dog :D , lovely story thanks for sharing.
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules


Re: Canine Magic

Post by CarolineLovesDogs » Sat May 31, 2014 3:42 pm

What a great story!

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