DOG BEHAVIOUR ISSUES

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My mission is to assist dog owners in establishing happy and rewarding relationships with their dogs, thus helping to break the cycle of behaviour issues and animal surrenders that have become so prevalent today.

 

There are a wide variety of potential dog behaviour problems. Some of the most frequent I consult on include:

 

  • Reactivity/Aggression

  • On-Leash Reactivity

  • Over Excitement/Stimulation

  • Impulse Control

  • Resource Guarding

  • Separation Anxiety

  • Fearfulness

  • (among others)

FIRST THING FIRST - IS YOUR DOG HEALTHY?

Your dog's behaviour is directly affected by its health, so pain and illness should be ruled out prior to attempting a program of behaviour prevention and/or modification. Accordingly, you should have your dog examined by your veterinarian to rule out a medical cause to the behaviour you are experiencing.

STEP 1 - BEHAVIOUR EVALUATION SESSION

A private session is required to evaluate your dog and the behaviour you are experiencing. Typically done in your dog’s home environment, the session can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on the complexity of the issue. In addition to looking for the cause of the undesirable behaviour, the evaluation session includes:

 

  • Learning about your dog’s relationship with you and other members of your household.

  • Learning about your dog’s history, health, diet and general behaviour.

  • Interacting and working with your dog to better understand its temperament.

  • Ample opportunity for you to ask questions.

STEP 2 - BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION PROGRAM

No two dogs are exactly alike, nor are the circumstances and conditions that surround a problem behaviour. Not surprisingly then, there is no convenient “magic pill” solution to deal with behaviour issues, so a program comprised of behaviour prevention, management and/or modification must be developed to address your specific needs.

 

Depending on the issue, a program may contain a variety of strategies in order to provide an effective, safe and long-lasting solution. Recommendations may include the application of:

 

  • Environmental Management

  • Desensitization 

  • Classical Counter-Conditioning
  • Non-aversive quadrants of Operant Conditioning

  • Behaviour Adjustment Training

  • (among others)

 

Recommendations may also include your learning, understanding and/or use of:

 

  • Personal (benevolent) leadership skills

  • Creating and applying rules and boundaries

  • Canine Psychology

  • Canine Body Language 

  • (among others)

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CLIENT

While my purpose is to assist clients in successfully reaching their goals with their dogs, the success of a program is primarily influenced by the client’s willingness, level of effort and consistency. Due to this, and in order to assist clients to the best of my abilities, I have a “standard” in place regarding client willingness and participation in programs:

 

  • All members of the household must be willing participants.

  • The client(s) must provide the necessary ongoing effort.

  • There must be a consistent application of the program by all members of the household.

 

Questions? Comments? Please contact me to discuss the behavioural issue you are dealing with.

 

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