Tommy’s desensitization training is progressing nicely. He can now ride in the van indefinitely at a SLOW rate of speed. As long as we drive slow and I regularly drop food in front of him, he is OK. We have been mostly sticking to gravel roads so that we can drive slowly. I will slowly be increasing the speed at which we drive and extending the distance even more. over the summer.
On a recent trip to the city to go to the vet, he did well. Unfortunately, we HAD to take him to the vet, and I was afraid this would derail all of our previous training, The key to not having this happen was increasing speed gradually on the highway, so that he didn’t really notice. It seems to be that roaring of the engine as it speeds up that triggers his fear. The trip went well with minimal anxiety on his part.
You can see our vlog about going to the vet clinic and how Tommy did on the ride below:
Of major importance is sticking to the routine that has NOT in the past resulted in fear. If we stop somewhere that is not home to get a coffee or something, and then start up the van again to return home, the deviation in the normal routine is the “unknown” for him and starts up his anxiety.
Important points to desensitization:
1. Make increases gradually.
2. Create a new routine for the dog that is stress free and stick to it.
I’m very pleased at the how the training plan is working and how Tommy is responding.