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Yesterday was the celebration of our country's independence and with that comes the ceremonial...BBQ!
We had some guests over and, as predicted, the girls weren't necessarily the most perfect dogs at the door. In their defense, they've never been fully trained in that situation. If you don't train a dog in the situation where they'll need to behave the most, you can't expect perfect behavior!
So what did I do instead? I kept an eagle eye on what they did right while greeting the guests and I rewarded it. Also, if they started to get scared/uneasy/unsure, I encouraged them by reinforcing their courage. B hates being pet from above her head...it sketches her out and makes her duck under the weight of someone's petting hand. So when someone pet her from above her head, I showered her with her favorite treats.
If you keep experiences positive by associating treats with everything, you're more likely to have a well-adjusted dog with excellent bounce back. If you haven't trained something yet and you know that situation is coming up (hello! Fireworks anyone!!??) then be prepared with YUMMY, high-value treats and you can turn any potential disaster in to a training session!