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head shy : Dog Obedience Training Tips & Tricks -Questions and Answers
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head shy

Issues related to teaching dog obedience are discussed here.

head shy

Postby lcoreo5 » Tue May 13, 2008 5:47 am

how can you break a dog of being head shy? a student of mine wants to get her dog cgc certified, but he is head shy and wont pass the accepting a petting... any suggestions?
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Postby meezermom » Tue May 13, 2008 2:39 pm

Most often when this happens, it is because everyone reaches over the top of a dog which is a dominance thing.... the dog is refusing to accept dominance. To help her dog, she needs to tell people to not do it but approach her dog from the front and under the chin. Do not EVER offer a dog a hand palm up!! Many dogs will either assume a treat is coming and decide to help themselves causing a pinch or they will see it as an opportunity to nip and the palm of the hand has more "meat" than the back and more damage can be done! Curl the fingers under some, allow the dog to sniff the back of the hand which is below the dog's head. If the dog is ok, tell your dog 'friend' and allow the petter to start gently scratching under the chin, move alongside the dog's head, around the base of the ear and up to the top of the head. Reassure the dog this is 'friend' and the dog will accept it. This is going to take some time... Also be prepared with some treats here! When the dog accepts this attention, ask the petter to do it again but start a bit higher and tell your dog 'friend' and have a treat in one hand and allow the petter to start petting high by the ear and move up to the top of the head. This is conditioning the dog to accept. Many dogs who are dominant do not like strangers to reach above their head immediately and it takes time to teach them that if YOU tell them it is a friend it is acceptable. If they are not told it is a friend, it is acceptable to remain cautious.
Dogs who have been mistreated are also very hand shy so that is something to consider. But mention to your friend this is simply a matter of conditioning and will take some time but it will work! :wink:
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Postby lcoreo5 » Tue May 13, 2008 3:10 pm

thank you so much! i had actually tried that type of thing with him in class, gradually petting higher on his head and he did allow me to pet him on top of his head. pairing the word "friend" is a great idea. One question for you though, who is giving him the treat? the friend or the handler?
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Postby meezermom » Tue May 13, 2008 7:33 pm

Let the friend give him the treat..... IF you allow others to do so... In some cases dog owners food proof their dogs. Training them to not take food from anyone else's hand but their own.......My dogs are trained that way however if I give a treat to someone and tell the girls it is alright, they can have the treat from 'friend', they will take it... Treats should always be very small and extra yummy......a very thin slice of a hot dog is a super yummy treat!!
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Postby lcoreo5 » Fri May 16, 2008 2:25 am

excellent, thank you so much again
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