In the Name of Training

Bailey has an aversion to the kitchen.  More specifically, she has an aversion to the oven.  It is a gas oven.  If you reach for the drawer at the bottom she runs to hide.  I've discussed what she does with many friends and professionals, the consensus seems to be a fear of the gas itself.  I've half heartedly attempted to condition her associations and she will walk past the kitchen after the oven/stove has been turned on, but wants nothing to do with the kitchen itself.

Gas oven at far left.
Today, in the name of training, I made more waffles, and cooked food in the oven.

I had a Kong stuffed with frozen, raw food.  A towel for her to lay on.  And I made waffles.  And other things in the oven.  And then I took pictures.  And she ignored me.

And she stayed, mostly... with her kong.  She left twice when I reached for the bottom drawer.  When I did actually open the drawer a little later, she looked at me and continued eating.

Wait.  Did I just reinforce her fear of the oven?

No, it is not possible to reinforce fear.  I did, however, reinforce her for remaining calm, on her towel, and in the vicinity of the scary things.  I used my "lazy trainer card" and let the kong do the reinforcing.

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