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Labrador Dog Training – Fear Desensitization

hey my name is Cody welcome to the axe
family YouTube channel today I’m gonna help you figure out how to train your
dog to overcome fear this could be fear of a lot of different things so I’m
gonna show you one thing in particular and then you can apply it to whatever
your dog is afraid of so I have a black Labrador chief has been afraid of the stairs so
he just runs up him see if he’ll go down these stairs come here ah hey come here hey welcome back to another axe family
video I hope you’re doing well hope you have a smile on your face cuz today is a
beautiful beautiful day today we’re gonna do a little bit of dog training
with chief so I have a black Labrador Retriever and he’s a purebred a KC male
neutered and he’s about three and a half years old I’ve done a lot of training
with him I primarily trained him to be a pet but he also knows how to shed hunt
so if you don’t know what shed hunting is deer and elk lose their antlers every
year and those are called sheds and it’s kind of a sport people will go hiking
and find sheds and so I trained chief to be able to smell them and then find them
and then bring him back to me he also has done some bird hunting I wouldn’t
say he’s super strong in bird hunting but he enjoys being in the water
he has retrieved birds before so we’ve only been hunting a handful of times but
those are kind of the things that I’ve taught him to do and today I’m gonna
help him overcome a fear so this is chief come here good boy stay and he
recently has been showing some fear in relation to steps specifically steps
like this where you can see through it’s open he just has been a little bit
hesitant about going up or down them and so we’re gonna work on that today let’s
just see right away if he can he can go up the steps
come here chief hey come here good boy sit okay so I’m gonna sit I’m
gonna I’m gonna point him up the steps and then I’ll release him chief okay
so that’s a little bit better than he did before chief come here good boy
so obviously coming down he looks a little bit more comfortable than going
up his kind of reaction was instead of going up slow
he’s just to run and so the first time we went up steps like this he was very
hesitant and then all of a sudden he just took off and he sprinted up it to
like let’s get this over with so there’s a longer set of stairs over here and the
steps are actually see through their metal they’re gonna be a little bit more
rough on the pads of his feet and he’s also going to be able to see
through to the ground to see how high up he is so I want to see if he’ll go up
those stairs as you can see it’s just like a metal grate and you can see
through it so he is more than more than capable and able to go up and down these
stairs but I know that he’s gonna be afraid so
let’s call him over here hey chief come here come here good boy good boy okay I’m gonna sit
okay stay right there so anytime your dog has a fear you want to introduce it
in a way that is gradual the process is called desensitization so it’s the same
with training the horse other animals you want to introduce them to the
subject or the task in a small manner and let them experience a sense of
accomplishment and once they have that sense of accomplishment then they’ll go
a little bit farther do a little bit more and you are gonna desensitize them
to that activity to the point where it’s no big deal anymore so with horses a lot
of people will take like a plastic sack and if you stood you know fifty feet
from you know green horse and kind of shook that sack the horse would probably
start to freak out and look at you and you’d kind of do that to the point where
the horse isn’t bothered by it anymore and then you’d move in to me let’s say
40 feet do the same thing to walk all around it at 40 feet shake the sack
eventually they’re gonna realize okay that sack is just shaking it’s just a
grocery sack like it’s no big deal and I’m fine
and so then you keep moving in and in closer and closer so your desensitizing
them to the point where eventually you’re gonna be able to rub that grocery
sack on their body and why you use the plastic grocery sack is because it makes
a lot of noise and it’s just that noise itself that crinkly noise is disturbing
the horses who haven’t heard it before so here with chief we’re gonna have him
go up just a couple steps or maybe get on to the first step and let him
experience that once he feels comfortable that then we’ll take him
back down will praise him and then we’ll try to move up the staircase so let’s
see how it does chief come here come here
yeah good boy yeah good boy good boy okay you got his front paws on there so
now he knows hey I can I can put my front paws on there and it’ll actually
support me so I was a good first step okay chief come here let’s go up a
little bit higher this time hey chief come here give me buddy good boy good
boy oh yeah I want to get those back legs on there so all four legs are on
the stairs right now good boy good boy okay back good boy good boy
can we gonna go up a little bit higher this time and what he was doing with the
other staircase was he was just running up him and I’m afraid that if he just
you know took off up this graded staircase it he might he might injure
himself or you know get halfway up and kind of freaked out and so I’m I want to
stand here to be able to stop him and just gradually move him up and down the
stairs longer and longer each time hey chief come here hey come here good boy
good boy good boy yeah good boy okay back good boy teeth good boy tail
wagging okay stay we’re gonna go up a little bit
higher now I’m about halfway up chief come here come here
ah hey come here he wants to run that way chief come here good boy come on
come here uh come here good boy good boy come here
come here chief so sit stay so we made it up to where he was at before and then
he decided to turn around because he got scared so we’ll just try it again
instead of asking him to come all the way up here again I am gonna move down
just a little bit and have him come to me chief come here good boy good boy yeah good job
okay back good boy struggling a little bit alright now
we’ll move back up to about halfway up the staircase chief come here come here
good boy good job buddy okay back nice and slow
good job good job okay let’s go up higher this time let’s get up for about
three-quarters of the way so Chiefs already trying to he’s going around he
doesn’t want to come all the way up here hey what are you doing huh you’re just
trying to take the easy way up huh you’re trying to take the easy way chief
I need you to go back down okay over there back
right there hey hey good boy hey come come here come here
sit good boy stay so we work a lot on on direction
especially if he’s trying to find something or something where where I
know I know where something’s at and I want him to go get it I’ve had like I’ve
left my hat out on the grass or something and I’ll be able to direct him
out to where my hat is and they’ll say bring it here and he’ll he’ll bring my
hat to me different things like that so I want to be able to have him in
different environments and be able to move him around with my my voice and my
hand signals so let’s see if he can go up about 3/4 of the way the steps now chief come here no come here come here
no good boy good boy come here come here good boy
good job good job but he good job look at his tail wagging he’s so proud of
himself but he’s like let me get off of here
okay we’re so close to the top we’re so close to the top but I I’m gonna make
him go all the way back down okay chief back back nice and slow back good boy good boy come here
right there sit sit sit down sit down sit good boy
okay so he made it up 3/4 of the way and now we’re gonna see if we can get him to
come all the way up the stairs and this will be the final test to conquer his
fear I mean at the beginning he was so afraid he he was not even gonna try this
so I’m pretty sure right off the bat he’s gonna try to run around and that’s
what I was doing before I was stopping him so we’ll see how it goes okay chief
come here no good boy good boy good job yeah good boy good boy
oh you so excited yeah yeah okay awesome job
okay chief I want you to go back down now okay come here ready chief I still
afraid huh scary okay come here chief good boy back good boy good boy good boy
chief good job okay you come back up look at that that is awesome that is
awesome okay so Chiefs just totally conquered his fear and it’s because I
was able to help him through the process we did desensitization we went baby
steps little step at a time and every time he accomplished one of those little
steps he was more confident in himself and so that’s what you need to do with
your dog and it might be going around a puddle it might be getting them into
water you know swimming for the first time it might be being around loud
equipment or different things like that and being close to a baby some dogs are
scared of babies at first and so whatever it is just take that approach
just be slow with them be calm be patient and very encouraging
uplifting you know rewarding them for the good behavior I’m not talking about
just pouring treats on them but just good boy you know good girl good job and
letting them know that they’re doing a good job and you’re with them through
this process because it’s difficult just like how it is for us when we face our
fears but we want to jump in and conquer them because we’re better for it on the
other end so thanks for watching today if you’re new to the channel hit that
subscribe button all the way in ring the bell for notifications we post new
videos I’m gonna try to do some more videos with chief and just dog training
every now and then but my wife and I were traveling full-time right now
visiting friends and family so we invite you to come along and leave me a comment
down below let me know what you think if you have a different approach you you
think something I’m doing is crazy you know let me know I’m open to the
comments so we’ll see you later hats off to you good boy hey chief yeah that didn’t work very well he’s
trying to find this stick right there right there good boy bring here

  • The love and dedication you have for each other shows in this VLOG! You and Chief are such a beautiful team! Good boy Chief! 🐶❤️

  • Well done, Cody. You have a relationship of trust with Chief, a great foundation for the stairs training.

  • This was a fantastic video Cody! I liked how you explained everything and how Chief was a great participant. I am looking forward to more of these as you make them. Hopefully I will be in a position to get a dog of my own in a year or so and I am already looking forward to the challenge of training my dog. Keep up the good work!

  • Awesome. I can't wait to show this to ten yr old nephew! He recently got a rescue german shepherd, and is always trying to give her treats for no reason!

  • My dog is just like this! He's also scared of commercial refrigerators, washing machines, and slippery floors. No idea how he got that way, but we're working on it.

  • Good ideas about fear desensitization. It was great to see that when you had him climb all the way to the top of the stairs and back down once, he went a second time all on his own. He seemed very happy and proud of himself for his accomplishment. Good job Chief.

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