A little background, my dog is an Australian Shepherd and we rescued him when he was 2 years old from the SPCA. He came from Virginia and has a lot of quirks, but one of the trickiest one is that he is afraid of snow plows and garbage trucks. We walk him 2 miles a day, so we come into contact with these trucks often. I was hoping eventually he would just learn that the trucks mean him no harm. He jolts at them and barks his loudest until they are out of site. I don't want to reprimand him for being afraid, but I also don't want to entice him by giving him positive attention. What is the best way to make him not afraid without encouraging bad behavior? Thank you!
The method I know is You work on getting you dog to pay attention to you. So at home work on obedience, looking at you when you say his name. I would also work on sit/walk backwards/ shake/ find the treat [in your fist] -a skill task that you can use while out. Use a treat or clicker (whatever you normally do). As always keep training sessions short and positive.
After a week or two work on getting your dogs attention off site but not near heavy machinery. So there are sights and distracting sounds. Again rewarding him for paying attention.
By the end of the month You should then be able to command your dogs attention while the "big scary machinery" goes past. When you feel that your dog is ready for the dump truck/snow plow test, take a reward that is high value-"my dog will do anything for ___" rewarding for small success.