Behaviour Modification

dogphoto3Behavior modification program

A behavioural problem is defined by a dog exhibiting an abnormal behaviour response to a certain stimulus.  Common behavioral problems range from on-leash reactivity, excessive barking at the door, chasing his own tail to the point of obsession, separation anxiety, resource guarding, dog-dog aggression or human aggression just to name a few.


What is behaviour modification?

A training approach that focuses on changing undesirable behaviours and replacing them with a reinforced desired behaviour. Sometimes when working with abnormal emotional responses from dogs, such as fear, we need to change not only the physical response to the stimulus but the mental response as well. This is done through counter conditioning which is creating a positive response to a stimulus to get rid of an unwanted response.

Example: A dog has a fear of hats on people, we need to change their thought process to ENJOY hats on people, this will first change the dogs emotional response then in turn change the physical response (no longer barking, lunging, running away etc)


How The Positive Academy Does it Differently?

First off, we do not use any training that causes the dog stress, physical harm or any other unpleasant emotions paired with many forms of training, because the last thing we want to do is put the dog through more stress.

Aggression is a serious problem that is often overlooked by owners and other trainers that claim the dog is just dominant and to gain control of leadership, that will fix the problem. WRONG! This will make you (the owner) feel more in control of your dog, this will not fix a dog that is showing aggressive behaviours.

During a consultation, the trainer will go over a questionnaire with you about extensive detail into your dog’s past and current problem behaviour(s). Once the consultation is complete, an assessment may be done (depending on the case and trainers discretion) to see the dog’s problem behaviour, although most consultations do not need assessments (the last thing we want to do is cause the dog more stress, so if we don’t have to….we won’t).

Once the trainer is satisfied with the amount of information given, he will then create a program, this usually includes the following:

  • Management of the dog’s behaviour
  • Household Changes that can be affecting the problem behaviour
  • De-stress Time (ie: vacation) to give thedog some much needed relaxing
  • Proper Nutrition poor foods can play a dramatic role in some aggression cases
  • Medical Check from Veterinarian (for some cases to rule out any medical problems that could be present)
  • Proper Training Equipment which usually includes a body harness, 6 ft lead and sometimes in strong dogs head halters
  • Training Techniques which include Counter-Conditioning, Desensitization, Operant-Conditioning
  • Training Tools are obedience commands to be taught if not already known
  • Many mild problems are not in need of more than the consultation but for those that are (more severe cases), we offer special package pricing.


Aggression In Dogs & Problem Behaviours That Need Behaviour Modification

Behaviour Modification is used in many more situations aside from just dealing with aggressive behaviours. If your dog is exhibiting a behaviour that is considered to be excessive or even unhealthy, it’s time to call in a professional to get it in control as soon as possible before the behaviour gets out of hand.


Problem Behaviours we deal with:

  • Dog-dog aggression
  • Dog-human aggression
  • Barking at people when they come through the door
  • Fence barking
  • Urinating/defecating in the home
  • Fears of sounds
  • Fears of visual objects
  • Separation distress/anxiety
  • Over rambunctious dog
  • Chewing (older then 1 year)
  • Chasing/obsessions
  • Herding issues
  • On-leash Reactivity (friendly dog – but goes crazy when another dog or human is around)


Difference between a Behavioural Problem and your overall Obedience Training?

Obedience training is essential as a preventative for an onset of bad behavioral problems. However, when a problem behaviour has been present and on-going for a extended period of time, a dog is required to “un-learn” the behavior through a different training rather than by obedience training.

If you’re unsure if your dog belongs in this category, please Contact us, we’ll be happy to direct you in the proper direction to best help you.