Ranger is still slowly working on his kitchen fear. The first picture I posted was him just daring to reach his nose in to scarf his dinner:
Then we got the toes just inside, but still had the crouching, nervous behavior:
As of last night, here Ranger’s body posture when standing two tiles inside the kitchen.
Apart from a bit of a closed mouth, he appears much more comfortable taking these first few steps!
I still feed Ranger in the kitchen, but on top of that, while I am cooking or cleaning up I also randomly feed him treats on a small metal target (a jelly jar lid) and move that around to different spots on the tile.
Although it’s impossible to work him completely under threshold because his fear is so sharply defined by the kitchen boundary, I don’t push him beyond where he is willing to go in order to eat the treat.
Ranger taking treats all the way up to the floor vent with a little nervousness, far improved from the first stage of one tile in, but he still has a long way to go before he is comfortable using the kitchen as a thoroughfare. We will keep at it!
Another interesting note… Ranger displayed the same fear and refusal to enter the kitchen at Grammy’s house, too. Maybe when he was a tiny puppy, his mommy used the doggy version of Hansel and Gretel to frighten him into obeying her, so he is forever paranoid of the oven. We’ll never know.