Since seeing Dr. Karen Overall speak and her suggestion of letting go of restraint I have tried to work with Rizzo. Rizzo hates restraint, she always has hated. Traditionally what has been done for a dog like her is teach her to wear a muzzle and strong arm her into what needs to be done. With the idea of Letting Go of Restraint, I let go of the traditional ways to deal with her stress about grooming and restraint.
Rizzo comes with a fair number of health issues. Previously she was on allergy shots. I had to train her to accept the shots with only me doing them. I do not have another person in my house that can reward her while I do these aversive procedures. So, I get creative on how to do things one handed and cooperatively.
Recently our vet prescribed Vitamin B12 injections for Rizzo. No problem, since we had already trained the injection/shot behaviors.
Once again my favorite behavior, the chin target/rest comes into the picture. For injections I have her stand between my legs – we call that Peekaboo. Then from there I use the chin target to both position her and have her hold still.
In the video you will notice that after the shot I go back to some more training of the peekaboo, chin target combo training. I feel it’s important to have her do the behaviors before and after with only one combo getting the shot. You will also see in the last one I have the syringe. I don’t want the syringe in my hand to become the cue that she is getting a shot. I love how her tail keeps wagging, even after the shot.
Do you have a dog who has issues with restraint? You can make it better. It’s just all training. I like to think of this as just another trick. A trick with a very practical application.