Knowledge is the first step in teaching your dog great manners. Having an understanding of your dogs natural, yet sometimes unwanted behaviors, is critical in teaching him alternate desirable behaviors. The second step is to know how dogs learn. While it is fun to consider all the way dogs are similar to humans, it is important that we understand how they are different.
Kindness is at the foundation of everything I teach. Teaching service dogs, as I have, gives one a unique perspective on the power of the human-canine bond. Trust and a connection with a human handler is the foundation for creating behaviors that are desirable to both the human and the dog.
Leadership requires the willingness to recognize how one’s own behavior is impacting others and the motivation to change in order to inspire results. I give you step-by-step guidance on how to be a compassionate leader your dog trusts and from whom he enthusiastically learns.
Modern Dog Training and Behavior Modification
Dog training and behavior modification are currently undergoing a major and exciting transformation. Veterinary and Applied Animal Behaviorist are learning new things all the time about our canine friends. Any trainer or behavior consultant you trust with your dog should be aware of and following these discoveries. The methods many of us used in the past and some methods still seen on TV today are outdated and potentially harmful.
Stopping unwanted behaviors like jumping, leash-pulling, barking, lunging, chewing, and resource guarding requires a good strategic plan, self-discipline, and kind leadership. Teaching new behaviors in the place of unwanted behaviors should be fun for both the dog and human. Your dog should love learning new things from you and be willing to perform them enthusiastically.
My philosophy and approach to teaching people and their dogs is aligned with the recommendations of Veterinary and Applied Animal Behaviorists. There is nothing more rewarding to me than witnessing a person and their dog working happily together to learn new behaviors. Handing your dog over to a trainer for several weeks might modify old behaviors and teach new ones but dogs are not programmable like robots. Their behavior is dependent on their environment. If you do not know how to reinforce the new behaviors or prevent the old ones, there is a good chance the new ones will fade, the old ones will return, or new undesirable behaviors may start. My approach is to teach you and your dog new skills so the desirable behaviors are on-going and reliable.
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