Many dogs are afraid of their collars being grabbed or hands reaching over head. Follow the tips below and you’ll have Fido begging to play the Gotcha game!
Check out the video to see Gotcha training in action!
- Have high value treats ready.
- Start with your body turned sideways, at her level or in a chair. Slowly begin by scratching her chest (as long as she is not touch sensitive to this area). Say good or click and reward the relaxed behavior.
- Next slowly move your hand up to the dog’s collar under her chin or on the side near her ear (do not reach overhead!). Say Gotcha as you take the collar and reward.
- As the dog becomes more and more relaxed during the sessions slowly progress to taking the collar more firmly, and slowly start to move to being able to reach over the dogs head; always saying Gotcha and rewarding when she is calm.
- If she starts to stiffen at any time you are moving too fast. Go back to the last successful step and try again. Do not continue to work at the level that makes her uncomfortable.
- Never pick her up or grab her by the collar to move her. Do not corner her and reach out like you are going to grab her collar. If you need to move her get the leash, leash her up and move her that way.