The Affection Junkie Dog | Dog: Impossible

– The first exercise is what I call the door test. If she can’t be cool with
the two of you at the door, then she’s never going
to be cool with somebody else coming in the doors. For a dog that’s as vigilant
and aggressive as Agedashi is, the door test will
help us unravel a lot of that fear and anxiety. This exercise will help her
learn to calm herself instead of going into attack mode. So Cynthia, now we’re
making like you’re leaving. So say goodbye to Matt. Do what you normally do so we–
can see everything. And then you’ll step out–
couple minutes, OK? Bye. MATT BEISNER: The first
step is to see how Agedashi behaves when Cynthia leaves. Bye. MATT BEISNER: And
then we see what happens when she comes back. What we’re watching
for here is that. Mom has left, and
so she’s moving into a state of distress. [knocking on door] Mom comes in, and just
stand with your back to the door calmly. You keep your eyes just on
her, Cynthia, no matter what. There’s confusion
here, first of all. She’s not getting anything that
she normally gets from her mom. We’re looking for complete
self-induced relaxation. And a good parent,
in my world, creates a world where the
dog feels secure and can calm itself down. And now the eyes are softening,
the licking of the lips. OK, now I want to reward this. Just say you’re a good girl. You can say her name, but
only say the phrase once. Good girl, Agedashi. So there’s my sugar junkie. What your dog wants
most in the world– more than toys,
more than treats– is praise. Your praise. Affection is the greatest reward
your dog’s ever going to get. But most people don’t
know that, and they don’t know how and when to use it. Now we’ll go for the
big kahuna, which is the physical affection. The key is we should only pet
our dogs when they’re calm. That will reinforce
the calm, but we have to ask for permission. I’m walking you through a
formal request to pet her. She will say yes,
which means calmly she puts her head towards my hand. She’ll say, OK, no
movement, you may pet me. Or she will turn her
head away and say, no. If her head doesn’t
move, it’s an OK. I’ve done this a
couple thousand times. Only five dogs have
ever said yes– OK. –the first time
they were asked. She gave you an OK. No movement, right? It’s important to note that
this dog that was acting in a way that demanded
your attention in fact was not saying yes,
I want you to pet me. Truth is, she doesn’t really
want people in her space. We usually pet
Agedashi all the time, and it really didn’t
dawn on us that maybe she didn’t like that. So it’s definitely a
tough pill to swallow. If she says OK
or yes this time, I’d like you to pet her
over the top of the head, and we’ll see what
she does with it. Now in my world, that’s
healthy affection. She calmed herself down. You asked her respectfully. She said OK. You gave her affection,
and it didn’t change her– her energy at all. When our dogs are
affection junkies, usually it’s because
we are unintentionally reinforcing their neediness. If we reward them with
affection when they’re calm, then it reinforces
calm behavior. We are right now in
the process of creating a new neurological
experience, and that’s a game changer that starts with
the two of you in the home. What we’ve been taught
by Matt gives us hope, will hopefully let us
open up our lives again. I think I’m
encouraged, but we know that we as owners need to, you
know, keep on enforcing this. Let’s plan on her coming
into the zen yard this week, and we’ll get to see things
in a neutral environment. We’ll start working towards
our goal of being able to board her so you can take your trip.
– OK. Sounds good. OK, cool.
All right. Thanks very much, Matt.
– All right. Thanks, Matt.
– Really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Thank you for having
me and bye, sugar.

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