Dog Behavioural Consult
There are many factors as to why a dog may develop behavioural problems. Genetics, environment, past experiences, abuse, lack of socialisation, medical, all could be defining reasons as to why a dog does what it does. For instance, some behavioural problems could be a result of a medical condition which causes pain including those caused by an endocrine disorder such as a thyroid problem or Cushings, Addisons etc. That is why it is advisable that a veterinary opinion is sought giving a dog a clean bill of health before you move on to a dog behavioural consult with a professionally qualified dog behaviourist.
Once any medical conditions have been ruled out, then comes the hard part which is choosing the right dog behaviourist for you. Don’t be fooled by the “it’s all your fault because you’re not being a pack leader” brigade or the “we fix any problem in one session that is why we charge so much but it’s worth every penny” bunch. If this was true then there wouldn’t be any behavioural problems, just training issues.
Which leads me on to distinguishing between what is a training issue and what is a pet behavioural problem.
The difference between behavioural problems, which requires a more in depth understanding of dog behaviour, and a training issue is:
Examples of behavioural problems:
- Any form of aggression including barking aggressively, snapping, nipping, growling, biting, resource guarding, aggression either towards people or other dogs and animals.
- Recall issues involving predatory chase which is when your dog refuses to come back from chasing another dog, livestock, joggers or people on bikes, hunting or scenting etc.
- Anxious, nervous, destructive type behaviours from separation distress, noise phobias etc.
- Incessant barking through separation, anger, frustration, fearfulness etc
Dog Training issues would likely be:
- Basic obedience such as sit, down, stay, leave, come etc when teaching the dog.
- How to greet and meet people without jumping up
- Walking nicely on a lead without pulling like a train
- Toilet training – (if not a puppy but an adult dog then consult a vet first to rule out any medical problems).
The Dog Behavioural Consult
The consultation is conducted in your home as this is the best place to assess your dog. Seeing your dog in a relaxed state helps with the behavioural assessment before observing how your dog’s behaviour changes.
The dog behavioural consult usually lasts for two hours during which it would be beneficial to see the behaviour problem although I won’t provoke a response, it just helps to see what behaviour may normally be experienced in a given situation. This may involve going out on a walk with you or arranging for someone to come around that your dog usually demonstrates the behaviour with/for. If you have been able to video the behaviour even better.
I will then be able to explain fully what is motivating the behaviour and set you a clear and understandable plan of behaviour training designed to help you through the behavioural problems you are having with your dog.
There is ongoing telephone support for this problem as well as training literature included in the price of your consult.
On a more somber note, contrary to what some unqualified dog behaviourists may say, most behavioural problems take time to resolve and improve. There is no “quick fix” and things can change so long as you follow the behaviour training plan. Whilst the vast majority of issues can be resolved, there are a few times when the behaviour has a genetic basis to it or it has become so ingrained that a full resolution of the problem may not be possible. You will however benefit from a greater understanding of how to manage your dog in situations where you would be able to pre-empt problems.
Don’t loose heart though, you will be surprised at just how much progress can be made with most behavioural problems with the right dog behaviourist.
To arrange a booking for a dog behavioural consult, call David on 07971 627146.