Posted : 10/11/2009 6:58:22 PM
On topic, I've had some luck with some gestures. Side presentation and downplaying the energy of meeting a dog that doesn't know me. Knowing that most dogs, even the ones that seem barky and aggressive are actually warding off a confrontation helps me to remember to offer myself as no threat. Even if I can't and won't get on all fours and sniff rear-ends. Also, since I am not a dog, my dog-speak is limited but I think a dog can interpret it well enough. In side presentation, you are also not allowing the dog to have frontal presentation with you. So, they have no particular reason to ramp up if you are not engaging in a frontal stare-down contest. Soothing tones help, at least they help me, as they keep me in the right frame of mind. If I am truly calm and relaxed, I smell like I am relaxed, another cue for the dog that I am no danger.
In training Shadow in stressfull situations, I would look for the signs of calm, even if that happened to be no visible reaction at all. And rewarded that. With grilled pork chop. (I know some will say, not again with the treats. Well, you haven't tried my grilled pork chop.)