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I really like to teach a chin rest using free shaping, as well as using counter conditioning the dog to find a hand reaching into his space a pleasant experience in the way I learned it from my mentor Kyle Rayon. However, I have found over the years that following the steps in an online video is difficult for someone who is new to training. Also over the years of doing seminars in other countries, I have found this technique of using luring to teach the chin rest the fastest and most reliable to use in a seminar environment. The great thing about the technique is that the dog is moving into your space all the time, so it’s easy to see if the dog is finding it too much. Where if you reach into your dog’s space, even if he stays there and doesn’t move away, it’s hard to know how comfortable he is. I also find by playing “hard to get” it increases the dog’s confidence.

If you have a dog who has never been touched or you know has a history of being fearful, aggressive or resource guards, please hire a professional trainer who doesn’t use intimidation to train to help you through the training process for your safety and the safety of the dog. Sometimes more training is needed to lower the dog’s arousal around food and build trust in you first before beginning this exercise.

If you have a dog who is too excited about the treats to take them nicely or learn the behavior:
1- have treats in a treat bag on you all day long and when your dog is not thinking about the food and settled and relaxed calmly go and drop the treat. This will help your dog not get revved by the treat bag or container coming out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wesm2OpE_2c /> 2 – https://dogmantics.com/taking-treats-nicely/ here is a tutorial to get the dog calmly taking treats 3 – work on a calm marker that predicts you will deliver the treat in a calm manner 4 – for the moment don’t train before meals- train after meals (make sure not to do anything too active) 5 – use lower value treats at first, slowly build up to higher value treats – feed a variety for meals to prevent novelty being so exciting.

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Happy Training!

– Emily Larlham (AKA Kikopup)
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