Bruno’s Fear Free Training Success

By 26 October 2019 Blog

Bruno and fear free training success in Holland Park, Brisbane.
Bruno is a goofy, 8-year-old Bull Arab Cross. He has always been very friendly at the vet but once pats stopped and examination started he would get very suspicious and communicate his discomfort with aggressive behaviour.
Bruno’s owner has been very proactive and committed to training. They had private training sessions and attended a Ready, Vet, Go! course with trainer Trish.
As part of Bruno’s training we incorporated a lot of owner education in to subtle body language changes, as well as start and stop cues for Bruno. Bruno was trained with a sustained chin target (using a towel on a chair) as his start cue (I’m ready for procedure), and if he lifted his head, the procedure immediately stopped. Bruno was also trained to be comfortable with a Baskerville ultra-muzzle. We spent time teaching Bruno specific body parts – such as tail, ear and scruff, so that he knew what was about to happen. 

An attentive Bruno.

An Attentive Bruno.

Overtime we were able to pair several good vet clinic experiences (training on a Sunday in clinic), with lots of his fave foods, body scratches and games. We also introduced veterinary equipment including syringes, blunt needle, alcohol swabs and stethoscope. When we weren’t actively training, he was taught a default “chill” behaviour and rewarded for relaxed head, tail and big breaths.

He had several socialization visits at the vet with Dr Jacqui and when he required surgery for a lump removal we had practice runs with pre visit medication to see what would work best for Bruno. A planned course of action on admission saw him anaesthetised as soon as possible to limit build up of anxiety.

Since then Bruno has had further training sessions and socializing vet visits. Recently he had his vaccinations and we were able to give his injection without any restraint by utilizing his muzzle and target training. Bruno is a great example of what team work can achieve. A very committed owner and a fear free trained vet and trainer. Not to mention a goofy, food motivated dog!

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