The “Bad Guys Give Goodies” Routine
Is your dog is anxious or aggressive when approached by people?
If so, the “Bad Guys Give Goodies” (BGGG) is a formal desensitising and counter-conditioning routine that you can use to change your dog’s attitude to such people. Your dog will learn, through this process, that these approaching ‘Bad Guys’ are a source of pleasure.
Right now your dog probably perceives that all people approaching are evil, demonic dog beaters. Your dog may think these evil ones are intent on causing grievous bodily harm to it, or maybe even to you. You have to make your dog realise that most people approaching are pleasant.
The process of counter-conditioning is a gradual one in which you choose an easy starting point that incorporates several ‘switches’ that will turn on good behaviour. Food rewards and praise are two such switches, but there may be others that are suitable for your dog.
The process I advise, therefore, is the following: –
Preparation and Initial Conditioning
Scent the mat with an underarm deodorant, lavender oil or some other unique smell to make it even more special and different to any other mat or towel you may own. Reserve this mat for this process only.
Adaptil is very good for this purpose as it is more likely to create a calm state.
Take your dog for a walk to the local park, armed with the smelly mat and a container of Vet Rewards or similar.
Select a tree near to, but not too close to, a walking or bike track. Place the mat on the ground at this spot.