Barefoot, Slobbery, and in the Kitchen

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:

labrador eating

Scared Ranger

Then we got the toes just inside, but still had the crouching, nervous behavior:

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As of last night, here Ranger’s body posture when standing two tiles inside the kitchen.
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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.

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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.

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