I’ve been offline for a few days. The current foster dog living with us, Nibbles, escaped from his x-pen, got on my husband’s desk and peed on the modem. Not a fan of technology our Nibbles apparently.

Nibbles was pulled from a breeder along with 20 or so other dogs, all chihuahuas or small dog mixes. He’d been placed in a foster home, escaped through a window, somehow or other traveled 30 miles north and was trapped by an animal control officer. I offered, to my husband’s & modem’s dismay, to take him on and help him learn some people skills.

Nibs is not comfortable with people and the other dogs in the house do not seem to be a draw to him. I’d like him to be less of a prisoner but until I know that he wants to be around me, I’m afraid to lose him. He’s caged in my office and several times throughout the day I feed him bit of chicken and liver. Sometimes I say his name and toss him food, other times we practice taking treats with my other hand lingering under his chin.

I’m sharing this video of Nibs learning to target my finger. I like targeting because it’s not only useful to move a dog around, or get them to come to me, I think it’s an easy exercise that helps a dog discover that my behavior means something and if he responds appropriately he’ll get a treat, in this case, a lick of cheese.


5 comments so far

  1. Mel on

    Not boring at all. A great example of how to work with a fearful dog. And, a great demonstration that it takes time and persistence.

  2. Kay Liestman on

    I agree–not boring, just helpful.

    • fearfuldogs on

      Thanks Mel, thanks Kay. Tonight we worked on feeling better about having his chest rubbed and collar touched. I think the presence of all three of my dogs waiting for a lick of cheese goo was helpful. Sometimes a little competition goes a long way.

  3. Lizzie on

    Nice to watch an expert at her work Debbie. At least I now know that I’m doing right by Gracie.
    Also that being around other dogs does not always help a nervous/fearful one; as is the case with Gracie too.

    I must say that I was fixated on Finn as he watched you giving the cheese to Nibbles, I almost felt sorry for him missing out on such a treat 🙂

    • fearfuldogs on

      Figures a border collie would steal the show!

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