As it turns out, Hank, a six-year-old Frenchie, has a pretty serious history of behaving fearfully aggressive around umbrellas, and vacuums. If pressured with the presence of either one, Hank will boldly and frantically attack the object. During his second In-Home-Training session today, I used the technique called “flooding”. "Flooding" is most successful when you expose the dog to the item which causes the dog fear, while the dog is holding a command like “down/stay” or “place”. That way the dog has a job, and will proactively hold the command, instead of participating in their typical other fearful behaviors like barking, racing around, biting an object, or even hiding. It is very typical for a dog to shake and pant during “flooding”. In dogs, shaking, and panting excessively, are signs of stress. In the past, whenever Hank or his partner Teddy demonstrated shaking or excessive panting, the owners would remove the dogs from the situation, or pet the dogs and feel sorry for them. Remember you get what you pet. Not all stress is bad. Stress shapes our reality. People and dogs conform to certain stresses when they are required to accomplish certain tasks. As we encounter stress, we learn to cope with the physical signs of stress, and then push through the stress in order to accomplish whatever task made us nervous in the first place. For example, my hands sweat if I need to take a math test. Does that mean that my parents should never have allowed me to take math tests? No. That is silly. Stress is our body’s natural response. How we chose to work through the stress is a choice. When taking a math test, I learned to recognize my physical signs of stress and work through it so that I could focus on my test. During this particular training session, I lead Hank through how to cope with the stress of seeing the umbrella and the vacuum. Why? Because Hank lives in the real world. People carry umbrellas into the elevator of his high-rise building and it is unacceptable for Hank to launch himself off of the ground and attack a neighbor’s umbrella. Also, Hank’s owner needs to vacuum. Who doesn’t right? I mean really… Conformity and peace…it is totally achievable. Stress is not the end of the world. That’s all I’m saying.