Thru experiences that are acquire in a dog's life time, a dog put together theories about how to survive and find solutions to confusions it faces in everyday life. Sometime the solutions to these problems are not the most ideal for the family, the community, or the dog it's self.... but if a dog gains the illusion of success or feels no other options exist, then the dog will continue less desired methods of problem solving. As time passes by, the dog can become confident or lost in those choices and time actually validates and justifies the behavior. That is when a new approach is required to show the dog how to problem solve and change methods without all the past history of bad experiences. Sometimes a dog just need a blank slate where there is no proven failure, conflicts, pressure, memories, or misunderstandings. Most dogs have never met a cat, rabbit, chicken, duck, or a goat.... so the correct problem solving the dog takes can be marked and rewarded instantly. This allows less stress because the whole process is explained to the dog as it goes thru the whole process of it's introduction to a trainer animal and the dog is not haunted by past fearful or conflicting experiences with dogs, people, or other animals. The goal is to show the dog how to find success, guide thru the problem solving stages, and reward for finding the correct path to success. That success opens a new world for the dog. The success with a rabbit can transfer to other animals or forms of stress in the dog's life. A rabbit or a cat can open doors to dogs that have lost faith in themselves and people's ability.
Lessons and friendships that our dogs create with other species of animals, it enrich and empower their abilities to utilize new problem solving skills and transfer that success into new directions.
Dogs are capable of transferring success from a working with a rabbit into translation for interaction with a cat.
Working with unfamiliar animals allows the dog to find success without reference past scary, reactive, or undesirable experiences. So there is less stress because dogs are open to suggestions and they have no past conflicting experiences to reference.
Training with different species of animals helps dogs in learning how to work around distractions like prey drive with cats or small dogs, resist urges to chase livestock, focus upon owner's voice beyond environmental stimulation, overcoming fear and aggression, become more confident, and reliability.