Basenji Companions

Devoted to Basenjis as Pets

The Fearful Dog

Counter-Conditioning For The Very Fearful Dog

Betsy Polglase, Massachusetts, updated 2013


The best thing to do when a dog is afraid of something is to do a bit of “counter-conditioning.” Approach the issue slowly, with the safest, least frightening examples you can find. If it is a fear of people, bring the Basenji to someone that she knows reasonably well and make good things happen when the person appears. Make her “Sit” and give her a yummy treat. Have the person do the same thing.


As soon as she is comfortable with this, find one kindly person she doesn’t know and do the same thing. As she finds that goodies fall out of the sky when people are around and that she gets petted and praised a lot, she will begin to associate people with GOOD THINGS.


After that, find a couple of people at a time and do the same thing. Keep increasing the number of people (including treats, praise and GOOD THINGS happening) VERY SLOWLY until you can take her to a shopping mall where there are a lot of people, and one stops occasionally to Ooooh and Ahhhhhh over her. This may take a while, but it is well worth the effort.


Make sure she is comfortable with every level before increasing the exposure.


Copyright © 2013 by Betsy Polglase

All rights reserved.

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2013 by in Tips and Training and tagged , , , , .
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