Dog Behaviour by The Way of the Dog
What is Behaviour Modification & Behaviour Management?
Behaviour Modification is the procedure by which a dog’s established and unwanted behaviours are modified to extinction or to a level considered manageable by the owner. For a whole host of different reasons not all inappropriate behaviour is modifiable, sometimes it simply has to be managed.
What does it involve?
Behaviour modification involves the replacing of incompatible behaviours with compatible behaviours. This may be achieved through conditioning and shaping new behaviours, helping a dog desensitise to a particular provocation, or teaching a dog to respond in a different manner to a particular event. We provide assistance, support and guidance to aid with the modification and management of dogs – of any breed – that are demonstrating behaviours that might be associated with issues such as:
Fear is a natural and normal behaviour for a dog to exhibit, it is certainly the case that certain types of fear are important for a species to survive. It is determining what constitutes normal levels of fear and extreme levels of fear that can often be the problem for dog owners. A phobia is a fear response at a much greater intensity.
Anxiety may appear in a number of different guises possibly as a result of a dog being separated from its owners or possibly its own kind, causes may be varied. Excessive amounts of anxiety or frustration may lead to an inability to cope and function normally resulting in a variety of different behavioural problems.
Stress is the dog’s internal response to a given stimulus, it is a vital reaction allowing the dog to adapt to an internal or external demand or threat. A healthy level of stress is normal, however when stress becomes imbalanced then it can place untold pressure on a dog’s ability to cope physically and psychologically.
Aggression is a normal behaviour and is necessary for the species to survive. However, it is determining what is considered normal that usually presents a difficulty when dealing with such cases. Owning a dog that displays aggression, for any reason, can be very exhausting possibly having a detrimental impact upon an individual’s general health and wellbeing.
Resource guarding relates to a dog protecting or defending something that it regards as a valuable resource such as a toy, a food bowl, or its owner, essentially anything that the dog places a value on. The lengths that the dog will go to in order to protect the resource will very much depend on its motivation to hold on to that resource.
There are many reasons why dogs chase other animals or moving objects, and it is these very reasons that need to be explored when working with a dog that is considered to be a predatory chaser. In many ways chasing is a normal behaviour trait, it is part of a dog’s inherent make-up. However, for some dog owners it can be an extremely challenging behaviour.
Territories that dogs generally protect may include their home, the gardens attached to their homes, vehicles belonging to their owners, places that they sleep, or indeed resources that they value, there are many views on what constitutes a territory for a domestic dog.
What is the process?
The process may vary among behaviour consultants, at The Way of the Dog we will guide you through the following steps:
- Consultation – We will carefully and respectfully listen to your concerns.
- Observation – We will spend sufficient time observing your dog’s behaviour in the environment in which it lives and moves.
- Analysis – We will analyse the motivations behind your dog’s unwanted behaviours through discussion and assessment before reaching a conclusion.
- Modification – We will use our vast experience, knowledge and professional expertise to develop and implement behaviour change protocols and recommend manageable solutions.
- Diagnostic – We will provide you with a written analysis of your dog’s behaviour and recommendations for future management.
- Client Support Forum – We will support you from afar.
Why choose The Way of the Dog?
Behaviour Modification and Behaviour Management is a specialised field that requires a professional, experienced, and dedicated approach. Shaun is a behaviour practitioner with the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association (CFBA), which is a partner of the Pet Education, Training, and Behaviour Council.
The CFBA is accepted by Pet Insurance Companies who cover behaviour problems on their policies and meets their criteria for excellence in the field. Shaun is an accredited Member of the CFBA and as such, your pet insurance policy may assist with costs. Each insurance company will have its own criteria of what it deems a behaviour problem which the client can discuss with their provider prior to booking an appointment. Canine or Feline behaviour problems are defined by each individual company, dog training is not covered by pet insurance.
Shaun’s national accreditation’s in the field of investigative interviewing and his commitment to the academic study of canine behaviour is put to great effect when establishing the origins and the motivations behind your dog’s unwanted behaviours.
Whether your dog is experiencing difficulty emotionally or is generally causing problems in the home or the community – we can help. If your dog is fearful or aggressive – we can help.
We will put our array of skills, vast experience, and in-depth knowledge to the test to help you better understand your dog and address the behaviour. We address the unwanted behaviours through ethically transparent procedures using the principles of reinforcement, counter-conditioning, counter-commanding, and systematic desensitisation. We adopt a balanced and measured approach to the problem by applying the laws of learning and utilising the principles at the very heart of how dogs learn in order to resolve or manage the issue. We do not use equipment or procedures that are designed to make your dog fearful or cause your dog pain.
We understand dogs and their varying views of the world – and we can help you.