BIG FOOT?WHAT'S HIS DEAL?
WHY IS THIS ON A DOG TRAINING PAGE
Understanding The Big Foot
To understand what big foot really is and what is it doing on dog training page, you need to learn about three different situations in which people react according to their mindset.
Calm and Composed !
You’re sitting in your living room, and you see big foot. He’s pretty far away… Maybe within eyesight. You’re able to just barely see him out the window… but you feel pretty safe.
Suddenly… $100,000 drops out of the sky and onto the coffee table. Odd, you think- you were afraid, but you pick up the money, and big foot runs out of sight, so you’re not able to see him.
This happens over and over, maybe by the 10th time, you figure out that it’s big foot somehow causing this phenomenon. You might even have a positive opinion of Big Foot when he shows up… Crazy! Money from the sky when you see him = positive feelings towards him.
Fear and Panic !
You’re sitting in your living room and… BAMMMM- Big foot walks in the front door!!!!!!!!!!
He’s staring at you… $100,000 drops out of the sky… but ***you’re so busy running you DON’T EVEN CARE*** about the money on the table… you just high tail it out of there!!!! You like money, sure, but not enough to face a life or death scenario.
We find when folks are working towards desensitizing their dog to something, they jump right into #2 – What do I do “in the moment” to stop my dog from reacting in this scenario? Well, the truth is, there’s almost nothing you can do. The key is to prepare. We call this “subthreshold training”.
Picture yourself in this scenario:
You’re sitting in your living room and… BAMMMM- Big foot walks in the front door!
He’s staring at you… and suddenly – you’re jolted. Zapped…. OUCH! You try to run from big foot. Ouch. So you don’t move and you stand where you are, so the jolt stops—
Now, you’re facing a HUGE fear, and there’s something shocking you.
Do you think your anxiety surrounding the situation would be increased? Would it be manageable? Would it get better?
No, it wouldn’t!
Anyways, not to create an e-collar rant, but aversive tools like e collars and prongs can create and induce anxiety. This is why we’ll advocate for a well-fitted harness, or head halter. Head halters can be conditioned to redirect force (the pup’s head is a lever… The head moves and the body follows), and neither of these walking devices add pain or fear to the scenario.
This approach (our plan) is to teach 3 levels of skill:
1. Relaxation Protocol
First level of skill is how to increase and decrease arousal, video attached, and address underlying anxiety.
Second level of skill is desensitizing and counterconditioning to a few triggers. We’d love your input on any specifics!
3. Basic Obedience Skills
Leash walking and Basic obedience skills. This is the last step to improve communication. Most people mistakenly think this is the first step.