DOG BEHAVIOUR THERAPY

The first step to a well behaved dog is to fully understand your dogs' behaviour. Behaviour therapy (also known as modification) is the process of addressing and resolving specific dog behavioural issues ranging from aggression problems, nuisance barking, separation anxiety, inappropriate toileting, destructive behaviours and obsessive compulsive behaviours. 

flickrdogandboneBehaviour therapy involves looking at all aspects of the dog's problems and the dog-human relationship.  Whilst dog training classes are a good place to teach your dog good manners and obedience, they are not the place to deal with more complex behaviours. For these a more detailed assessment of the underlying cause of the problem needs to be carried out.  Many behaviour problems are due to a misunderstanding between dog and owner, lack of appropriate socialisation of a dog when it was a puppy or even physical or medical problems which may not be apparent to the owner.

Although there are never any miracle cures, identifying and addressing the underlying causes together with putting in place a plan to tackle the issues means the most difficult and frustrating problems can be dramatically improved and often permanently solved using Behaviour Therapy. The result? A well-trained and happy dog that is a pleasure to own and an owner who has a better understanding of the problems and a plan to deal with them - knowing that there is always support and help available from myself as your Bark Busters Therapist.

Your Dog will benefit from behaviour therapy if it is doing any of the following:

  • Showing aggression to other dogs or people
  • Fighting with other dogs in the household (sibling rivalry)
  • Mouthing, nipping or biting
  • Growling at you when you try to take food or toys away from it (resource guarding)
  • Item obsession/possessiveness – for example ball obsession. 
  • Running to the door (and barking) before you to greet your visitors 
  • Jumping up at you and/or visitors when you/they arrive in the house
  • Nuisance barking out of the front window, in the garden etc 
  • Barking or whining at you to get your attention or other attention seeking behaviours such as constant pawing of you. 
  • Not listening to you or responding to your basic requests/commands that have been taught.
  • Waking you up in the morning and refusing to settle until you get up
  • Not returning when you call whilst off the lead or in the house
  • Jumping up on the sofa or beds without your permission and/or refusal to get off when asked
  • Pulling you for a walk when on the lead
  • Urinating or defecating in the house.
  • Becoming anxious when you leave the house – barking/ whining/ scratching/ destruction/ toileting etc
  • Obsessive behaviour such as constant licking, chewing or tail chasing
  • Chasing of cats, squirrels, livestock, cars, joggers etc
  • Destruction including constant chewing and digging
  • Persistent begging for food/food stealing

This list covers the most common behavioural problems owners experience and is not exhaustive.  FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND TIPS ON DEALING WITH NUISANCE BARKING click here; AGGRESSION - click hereDESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOURS click here; TOILETING PROBLEMS - click here; SEPARATION ANXIETY - click here; OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR - click here.  

Learned Behaviours

flickrpuppysnarlMost behavioural issues are a learned response to the experiences and environment in which the puppy or dog finds itself in. Dogs learn by association of events, by interpreting information through their senses in a canine way.  In simple terms puppies and dogs do what works for them.  Any behaviour that your puppy or dog does, good or bad, he/she does it because it gets them something they want or want to happen.  For example, a puppy or dog that is aggressive to other dogs and humans approaching their toys or food bowl has learned that if they show aggression that the other dog/human is more likely to stay away.  A puppy or dog that jumps up at humans learns that they will get the attention they want by doing so.  This is a key reason why behaviours that may seem cute in a puppy should not be tolerated or encouraged as they can lead to bad behaviour in an adult dog.  Nipping, cheeky barking, whining for attention or to be picked up, begging, stealing, chewing of inappropriate items, chasing other pets, following you around, jumping on furniture and jumping up at you and onto your lap may make you laugh when your puppy is small and cute, but is not so much fun when your adult dog behaves in the same way.   

PHARMACEUTICAL SCALES by Shcheglovfreeimage-5238940Bark Busters Take A Balanced Approach 

The success of the Bark Busters training system lies in the fact that we teach owners how to communicate with their dogs’ in a balanced way which is immediately intuitive and understood by their dogs. Changing behaviours is not necessarily simple and straightforward.  If it was we could make food abundant and our dogs would not growl when we approach their food bowl and we could simply ignore our dogs jumping up and they would never jump again.  For those of you who have tried those techniques you will realise that modifying behaviour isn’t that quick and easy and that is where Bark Busters come in.  We work using a combination of positive reinforcement of good behaviours, ignoring of attention seeking behaviours and where needed kind intuitive vocal corrections so a dog understands the correct behaviour.  Each behaviour needs a different approach; for example, a dog that is aggressive to humans when approaching their food bowl, the behavioural stimulant can be removed by simply not approaching his food bowl until the dog has finished, or alternatively your dog can be trained that humans approaching is a good thing.  Our system embraces 23 years of worldwide expertise and research in dog psychology making us the leading experts in both dog behaviour therapy/modification and dog obedience training.

For help with your dog or puppy's behavioural issues

Call Freephone 0808 100 4071

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