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PrideofTrinitysOnyx 12-01-2012 11:38 AM

Afraid of the blow dryer?
I gave onyx a bath today and its really cold outside and I don't want him to go out all wet so I brought the brush and blow dryer out and he was fine, until I turned the blow dryer on. It's not that loud and I had it on low. I tried to show it to him to show him it was okay, but he went nuts and tried to bite me. I have NEVER seen him act like that. Ever. Eventually he is going to have to go to a groomer bc I can't get him in and out of the tub by myself. The last thing I need is for him to try and bite a groomer bc she pulled a hair dryer out. What do I do about this?

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wolfy dog 12-01-2012 01:35 PM

Train him to associate the dryer or anything he is scared of with positive experiences. I have a blow dryer in the mail so here's what I will do in steps/sessions:
1. Show him the dryer but don't run it. Treat (T) while he checks it out, give him time.
2. Have someone hold the dog at a good distance away and run the dryer briefly: T.
3. Run the dryer: T, turn it off, no treats, turn on: T etc.
4. Make the sessions of running it longer gradually while feeding treats, you may need a helper to operate the dryer.
5. Gradually move closer to the dryer with the dog and repeat. Watch for signs of stress and if you see that, increase distance and repeat the process.
6. Briefly blow on his toes, up the legs etc. Lots of treats/play.
It is crucial to make the dog succeed. Do not force it or correct him. Remember that you know the dryer is not going to kill him but he doesn't. If he is toy driven, use toys instead of treats.
I have used these techniques for all sensitization exercises: vacuum cleaners, going in and out cars, scary guys with beards and hats, parades etc.

PrideofTrinitysOnyx 12-01-2012 01:38 PM

That is very helpful! Thank you very much!

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