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From: Callie (
Subject:         Re: Anxiety and desensitivation
Date: April 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm PST

In Reply to: Anxiety and desensitivation posted by Lorna Donaghy on April 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm:

I'd use something smaller and far more irresistible than a biscuit -- but mostly you'll have to have your partner give you SOME sort of heads-up that he's about to sneeze so you can say "O .. K ... good DOG!" Maybe a can of spray cheese that you keep by the chairs you sit in or the bedside table -- wherever it occurs.

You can't pick the dog up and "ohh poor baby" -- you have to act like this is the most normal/natural thing in the world. Show the dog your concern is for the man, NOT the dog. If you coo over the dog's upset, you reinforce the scared behavior.

RAther than focus on the dog's fear IGNORE IT. Because by converting your attention to the dog rather than the man, you probably are reinforcing the fear.

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