As I said yesterday, this past weekend I had the opportunity to see Sarah Kalnajs speak over the course of two days. Honestly, there were moments of greatness and moments of… well… disappointment. I think this largely has to do with the stress going on in her life right now…she seemed to improve as the weekend went on. I took away some interesting behavioral assessments/evaluation tools and an appreciation for good canine behavior videos. Perhaps the most personally informative is Sarah’s idea of having a safety zone for the dogs in the house.
For all of Shayne’s improvements with people, she still gets concerned/anxious when visitors come over. We’ve done a lot of work and men can come in and as long as they ignore her for about 5 minutes she warms up nicely. However, the sound of a knock at the door immediately sends her into a bit of a tizzy. It just takes a minute to send her to her bed where she will stay until the person enters but this does still raise her anxiety level and I’d like to prevent that. I could, of course, continue to do counter conditioning but I’m looking to try something new.
One of the things I love about being in an ever-evolving field is that there are a crazy number of new ideas coming out all the time. What I love even more is that innovators can use the same ingredients and come up with some amazing recipes. Sarah’s concept uses “ingredients” that I either use or have known about for some time, yet the way she combines them is quite a good idea and one I’m going to work on.
Sarah spoke about creating a safety zone where dogs can learn to relax and stay quiet. Using DAP, Through A Dog’s Ear music, visual barrier, comfy beds/crates, and some training I can hopefully reduce Shayne’s anxiety about visitors. I’ve been newly inspired to give this set up and training a go specifically for some relaxation when we have visitors for Shayne.
I just love that something so simple could provide such a much needed space for Shayne to relax and chill. I’m hoping that if I get a good vibe going in the safety zone, that I’ll be able to make a travel safety-space for when we compete elsewhere and she has to chill in a hotel room.
I’m going to get some DAP and download TADE music (since my CD has mysteriously disappeared…) and see if we can get a nice happy place going for Shayne!