The season for skateboards, bicycles, rollerblades, basketball, scooters and road hockey is here (finally!) If you have a dog who reacts to movement, as do I, it's not too soon to have a training plan.

Arm yourself with pockets full of high value treats or fill a food tube with canned dog food.(

Sit on your front steps or find a place where people/kids/skateboards, etc. pass by. Try to find a spot where you are far enough away so your dog will notice the movement but not close enough that he will get upset (it can be challenging but try).

The moment your dog spots the skateboarder, bicycle, etc. begin feeding. Continue feeding until it disappears. Do nothing until the next one comes by.

Your dog's behaviour is irrelevant so if he begins to bark - keep feeding. In this situation you are not rewarding barking, but you are teaching "when you see this trigger - food appears". Eventually, your dog will change the way he feels about the trigger.

You want the dog's trigger to be the reason the reason the food appears.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

What should you do if you come across sudden movement? Give as much distance as you can by going up the nearest driveway or behind a car if possible. Remain calm, remember to breath. If you have food - try to feed your dog. Avoid trying to calm him with verbal chatter as more likely than not, it will not help. Slow, calm strokes along his side may be beneficial.
Click here to see a video on desensitizing a dog to scooters.

This is not meant to be a desensitization program. Contact a qualified trainer for an assessment and personalized program.