Continuing our discussion on squirrel chasing, we are just about ready to start working with actual squirrels.
But before you start incorporating squirrels into the Relaxation Protocol or Control Unleashed exercises, you might start with a fake squirrel. Have someone manipulate it so that it looks sort of real. Acclimate your dog to slower movements then quicker movements. Putting the "squirrel" on a string might help. Work far away, then try working a little bit closer at a time. Vary the distance and amount of manipulation.
If the dog does well with the fake squirrel, it's time to move on to real ones. Try to set the dog up for success. Start off trying to work from a distance. You might try working from a parking lot at a park. The squirrels are more likely to stay in the grass and trees and not go into the paved area -- so you can work from the paved area at first.
Once you start reducing distance, if your dog gets too excited, simply back up to a point where you were successful and start again.
See all squirrel chasing posts here. Next, we will talk about car chasing.
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