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Many people are rescuing dogs from other countries and trying to rehabilitate them into very different life situations and conditions. However, due to possible lack of appropriate early socialisation and handling, they are often highly anxious and/or fearful and struggle with being handled or restrained.

  • Fearful animals need to accept handling from unfamiliar people, whether that is veterinary professionals, groomers, or members of the extended family
  • Dogs can be fearful or anxious or both, but they all need to learn to voluntarily accept or at least tolerate sometimes intrusive handling
  • Shaping behaviours with a fearful dog may preclude the use of clickers or other noise makers as markers
  • Trainers can use Habituation, Desensitisation and Counter-Conditioning Techniques to help a dog transition away from practising avoidance and self defence behaviours and these are usually helpful for most dogs. They can make it possible for a trainer to introduce behaviour shaping and husbandry training


But what can be done with fearful dogs that seem to be unable to learn to volunteer body parts to be handled or restrained, even though they have been habituated to gentle touch and positive reinforcement? Sometimes the training session alone can trigger avoidance and defensive behaviours. Neural pathways have already been firmly set, and can be difficult to modify.

  • Case studies will demonstrate some techniques which may help individual dogs to overcome passive or active self defence behaviours, and modify the neural pathways to improve future learning and cognitive development

Nina Bondarenko | Shaping for fearful dogs

£15.00 Regular Price
£10.00Sale Price
  • Nina Bondarenko BA, IAABC; ABTC

    Author and Illustrator of “Hearts, Minds and Paws” – a book on working dogs with unusual roles. Featured in the BBC documentary series “Doghouse” shown in April 2007.

    Australian-born, Nina Bondarenko now resides in the UK. From 1992 as founder trainer and Canine Development Training Director for Canine Partners UK, she developed the unique training approach, techniques and theory of assistance dog training and development, utilising her Puppy Education System of component behaviours and errorless learning principles. She developed the Homing Signal as part of the Operant Conditioning Process. She uses teaching techniques such as TAG TEACH and T Touch, together with her behavioural training approach, and Nina has completed the Delta Society Pet Partners AAT Training and Evaluator course.

    As a member of the Assistance Dogs International (ADI) committees for Trainers and Training Standards, she helped develop accreditation practises and procedures for Assistance Dog organisations throughout the world.

    She has a BA and a teaching certificate FAETC. Nina Bondarenko has now returned to her private, professional behavioural counselling and dog training service, originally established in Australia, and she runs training seminars, workshops and canine coaching weekends. Nina Bondarenko gives seminars to Police Dog Instructors and Handlers, Customs and Fire Detection Dog Handlers in the UK and Europe, on positive and behavioural training management techniques. Nina has given presentations at both the IAADP and the ADI annual conferences on her training approach and developments as well as at international conferences – IAHAIO, ISAZ, SCAS, IWDBA, CSF, IDDC et al. She has presented seminars and workshops at APDT (USA), APDT (Australia) and APDT (UK). 

    Her T Touch work includes rehabilitation of difficult and dangerous Competition Horses in Germany and Australia, as well as dogs in Shelters, working dogs and companion dogs. She has TAG Teach Level 1 Certification as well as a Teaching Certificate and a Bachelor of Arts Degree.

    Seminars taught include “Fears and Phobias”; Strengthening Scent Identification and Indication; Stress in Working Dogs; Homing Signals: Basic and Advanced Training for Working Dogs; Reinforcement for Motivation: T Touch: Theory and Practical Training for Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs: Positive Schutzhund Training: Teaching Targets for Agility: Trick and Treat Training: Loose Lead Walking: Film and TV training: Training Prey and Predator animals etc.

  • 25th October 2020

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