Positive training can be frustrating. We all want to see results RIGHT AWAY — which is why certain programs that show behavior changing dramatically in a single (highly edited) segment are very popular. I’ve been discouraged because I’m a clicker clutz, because my body positioning is off, and because I’m an impatient person who doesn’t quite understand how we’re going to get from A (clicking approval when Frankie taps my hand with his nose) to Z (getting Frankie feeling comfortable riding in a car), theories be damned.
But Crystal, our trainer, is no dummy. First, she captured a key aspect of the problem, Frankie’s fear of street noise, on film:
Then she instructed me to open the door progressively wider while Frankie was eating, so he would get eventually get accustomed to the noise. Opening a door before putting food down — that’s something even I can do!
And the results?
Sure, Frankie gets the food, but notice who’s really getting the positive reinforcement here: “You’ve done your homework, I can tell,” Crystal says. Good girl, Edie!