One of the major wins I've had with Zoe recently is her fear of Thunder. She is generally a very noise phobic dog to the point where is she'd hear a boom she would associate me with the noise and nothing I did provided her any comfort. On big holiday occasions where there would be Fireworks, we'd have to sedate her in addition to having the TV volume up very loud and fans on. Moving to a more rural area that has a "no firework" rule has really helped with her fears but she ended up generalizing her fear of fireworks to any booms so gunshots and thunder.
Recently we had a bunch of storm systems come through. I armed myself with very high value treats (chicken, beef, cheese) and every time she heard a boom I would throw her a treat. We practiced this for several days, although it was hard to predict the noise and do setups we did get some training done. In addition to classical counter conditioning, I was also shaping her to come closer to me because in the past she associated me with the scary thing and wanted nothing to do with me. By the end of the third day she was laying next to me and taking treats right out of my hand. About two weeks after this she was able to go outside and practice some heeling with the thunder pretty far in the distance. I am extremely happy with this.
My major win this past month with Phoenix is her recall off of another dog. We are currently staying with relatives to hep family out and my mother-in-law brings the neighbor's large dog over on a daily basis because my Grandmother-in-law loves to give him a treat. Phoenix is very fearful of large dogs and while she gets along with him okay when he first appears there is a lot of tension/excitement/stress and she will snark and snap at his face if he gets in her space. He tends to be one of those dogs that's just big and rude and has no idea of his size. He hasn't had much training and actually hurt Zoe twice since we've lived here so I really try and keep them separated. This was a day where management failed and I was taking them out when my MIL happened to be bringing him in. Phoenix has always had a fantastic recall out of my two dogs but never off of another dog or animal. When I first got her I practiced recall with very high value treats and it really stuck. I just called her name and she quickly did a 180 and came right to me and I had no food on me at all. It made me so happy.
Here's a video of them. They were actually doing really well playing. You can see a couple of tense moments but Phoenix quickly turns it into play.
What was your success or win for this past month? Comment below. :)