Help With "Are you shy?"


New Member
I sent this message to Jean and a member, but I thought I would post it on here as well and see what kind of replies I get.

My name is Aimee and I have a Border Collie/Labrador mix named Nevada. He is very very smart and learns very quickly. I have taught him a number of different things, the most recent trick being "bow".

Anyways, I was working on "Are you shy?" with him and I would put a piece of tape on his nose and click every time he touched his nose. He was doing really well then all of a sudden he started freaking out about the tape. I know you said you had problems with that as well, and I was wondering what you did about it and if you had any ideas for me. He would go away from me and not want anything to do with it. It got to the point where when I would bring him back over to me to work on it he would pull back and act like I was forcing him to do it.

I definitely don't want it to be like that. I want him to WANT to do it. But even high value treats like turkey meat wasn't enough to get him to stop being scared of the tape. Even after the tape was off he still was upset about it, I guess because of the sticky remainings of it left on his nose. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to scare him. And I'm afraid that even if I try something other than tape he will react the same way. Please help!


New Member
Ludo hated tape too. If his hair is long enough on his head, try putting a hair clip on the top of his head rather than his nose. I found that much better for Ludo, he didn't like having things around his face.


Staff member
I blew on my dogs face, she reacted well to that, rubbing her face with her paw. as she is deaf, I'd put 2 fingers on my nose then blow. now I can put the fingers on my nose from a standing position and she will cover her face with her paw. it really is the most adorable thing!


Honored Member
Well, my Buddy, i used a TEENY piece of tape, ON A POST IT NOTE. Not just tape. I put the post it note on him, but he knocked THAT off so fast, in one swipe, it interrupted the session, cuz i'd hafta keep re-applying a fresh one. So, i put a TEENY TINY piece of scotch tape on the top edge of the post-it to hold the post-it on a while longer.
If you aren't taping a post-it to his forehead, or some other kind of paper, the "new look" of this may help your dog stop associating the trick with the tape.

But i agree with the poster above, take a break from this trick altogether for a while, your dog is too stressed about it for now. Maybe in the future, you can try with some whole other item than tape, something that looks different.

I think it was Texas Cowgirl who told me she uses those lil key-ring bracelets, that are like soft curly plastic? You know what i mean? She said be careful it is not too tight on your dog's nose, said it did fit okay for her dog, but maybe would be too tight for a larger nosed dog than hers.

But again, i'd give that whole trick some time off!!! At least a few weeks. Try again in future, with a whole new approach, new item that your dog will not recognize. Think your dog is done with tape!!