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A few weeks ago Galen was startled when the wind caught the lid of a recycling bin and ripped it open with a loud clatter. He now has a profound distrust of wheelie bins.

Today Galen and I were happily trundling along on our afternoon walk when he went rigid and planted all four feet. There, in front of us, was a bright blue recycling bin, his nemesis incarnate. Off in the distance was a further row of them. Tomorrow is trash day in my neighborhood, and many of my neighbors had already rolled their containers out to the curb. There was no way to continue the walk without encountering a recycling bin.

"Oh for heaven's sake," I thought to myself. " I am not living for the next decade with a dog that's scared of wheelie bins. " I made a big show of creeping up on the bin, examined it carefully, and have it a firm poke. Satisfied that I had showed both that bin and Galen that I was not going to give way to a recycling container, I continued on to the next one. It got the same thorough inspection and firm poke.

On we went. I growled and circled a few bins before poking them. I yelled encouragement at Galen and ran up to a few bins as though there was some possibility they might slither away from us. By the end Galen was looking as embarrassed as I felt. At least he wasn't shying away from them at that point.
 

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The treats do help. Now that banging sounds on walks are a reliable predictor of treats both dogs tolerate them far better, and recover much more quickly. But for adding to the sum total of human confusion and happiness they are way behind your method!
 

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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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Apple was afraid of one neighbor's shrub. ONE SPECIFIC SHRUB. For a long time when we walked that section I would had out treats and sing "Scary shrub time scary shrub time OOOOooooooooOOOOooo SPOOKY SHRUB!"

She's not afraid of scary shrub anymore but singing a song about a scary shrub really makes your neighbors think you're an idiot.
 

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Wanna join in the "Flappy flappy bang bang" chorus of the Window Cleaner song?! I think if you have a dog the neighbours just have to get used to weird idiocy!
 

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I trained Buck to the names of things with happy confidence. “Yay, it’s a big truck”, “They’re working“. Our neighbors spent four years building a house and he had to learn not to react to all of that and it was a LOT! I’ve got to say, I had to neutralize a lot of my feelings about the new house, a La Quinta McMansion, ancient trees sacrificed, so that the empath poodle was happy and focused on me, allegedly serene. Treats helped.
 

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We just had a helicopter directly above our house, doing military training. It was totally black. No lights. But the roar was deafening.

Peggy was horrified and immediately ready to defend me, but as it flew away I said very matter-of-factly: “It was just a helicopter.” She gave me a long searching look....and went right back to sleep.

Maybe the greatest accomplishment I’ve had yet as a poodle owner, building up that level of trust. :) We’ve practised on many shrubs, recycling bins, lawn ornaments, garbage bags, skittering leaves, Halloween decorations.....
 

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Yay! Bet those wheelie-bins never mess with you two again! Oh the things we do for our puppy-loves :)
 
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