From fearful to brave

When Frankie first started our Sniffer Dogs course, he was a little afraid to walk on slippery floors.

I discovered first hand how quickly the Sniffer Dogs work can improve a dog's confidence.

Frankie usually avoided slippery floors altogether. With a lot of encouragement, he would venture a few steps but then freeze and quickly back track onto 'safer' ground. Even though he adores our vet, it made visits to the vet clinic uncomfortable for Frankie with their slippery vinyl floor. 

Frankie loves the search game, and I started to place boxes strategically in locations that would stretch his comfort zone. One day, I placed one of the search boxes in the back of the bathroom, which has a tiled floor. He saw the box when he passed the bathroom door, but wasn't game enough to enter and moved on to search other areas first. He then came back though and decided (all by himself) to give it a go. I held my breath while I watched him step towards the box, very slowly and warily, eat the treat, and back out of the bathroom again. So brave, I thought.

 Here is Frankie during a search practice happy to walk on the slippery kitchen vinyl.

Here is Frankie during a search practice happy to walk on the slippery kitchen vinyl.

After only a few more similar searches, he now doesn't even hesitate anymore to check out all possible hiding places in the bathroom. He just waltzes in, tail wagging, grabs the treat and trots out.

Frankie still doesn't love the floor at the vet clinic, but is now confident enough to walk to the consultation room without problem.