At Least 15 Issues that can Be Solved By Behavior Modification Training
Does your dog drive you crazy with any of these behaviors:
- Excessive Barking
- Separation Anxiety
- Reactivity to Dogs
- Aggression to Humans
- Aggression to Children
- Aggression to Other Dogs
- Destructive Chewing
- Fireworks or Thunderstorms
- Chasing Cars
- Chasing your Cat
- Excessive Whining
- Pooping in the House
- Peeing in the House
- Terrible Walks
If you said yes to these questions (or maybe some we haven’t listed!) behavior modification is a great way to help you to change your dog’s behavior. Here at Dreamy Skies Dog Training we definitely want you to have a laid back, calm and enjoyable experience with your dog! Because that’s the reason that you got a dog (am I right?).
How Many Types of Behavior Modification Programs are There?
There are many types of behavior modification programs. These approaches are very diverse in their approaches to behavior modification. This information is often confusing and conflicting, especially if you talk to friends, search the internet or YouTube videos, and especially from trainer to trainer or even your veterinarian. It is very overwhelming how to figure out the approach to training you should take. Adding to the confusion is much mis-infomration from veterinarians and animal behaviorists (Veterinarians with an additional layer of education). But what most training programs actually do is create a management style of addressing your dogs behavioral issues without actually correcting or fixing the problem you are dealing with.
What about my Veterinarian or an Animal Behaviorist
The solution that almost all veterinarians and animal behaviorists have for behavioral modification issues is to simply prescribe medications. This approach then requires that you to constantly refill these medications (from your vets pharmacist usually!) and, go back for follow up sessions (more money!). The issue with this approach, while it can help in the short term, is that it doesn’t address the WHY your dog is experiencing issues.
What About Most Dog Trainers?
Most dog trainers, whether balanced, force free or some other label they apply to themselves, only use commands to manage the dog from the behavioral problems. A typical example is most trainers will tell you that the solution for your dog not chasing your cat is to get your dog to stay on a place or bed and they can’t get off. Hence, they can’t chase the cat.
But, what if your dog still wants to chase the cat? What if they are still looking for an opportunity to chase the cat because they FEEL the same way about the cat. There is no amount of penalty, counter conditioning or other methods that will change how your dog feels and really stop the unwanted behaviors.
Another Training Approach
What if I told you that training could teach your dog to feel and act differently. That it would lead to better and long lasting results. Behavior modification doesn’t have to just be about management, or controlling your dog from issues. It should be about teaching them to want to be around the cat, or the dog, or the scary neighbor or whatever trigger that your dog has that is causing you angst.
As the person I’ve learned most of my training techniques always says, all behavior has an emotional root. If you don’t address the emotions, sure you can get some results, where does that leave your dog? Some dogs might have such mild cases of the issues you are dealing with that a simple correction or cookie is enough to change their mind. Most dogs though, and I can attest to this being really an issue with my previous dogs, they have things or stress or post traumatic stress or strong associations that causes them to need more than a place or heel command to be okay.
Becoming an Optimist
Changing how your dog feels, and becoming an optimist about things (again, TBTE words, not mine, I’m not that smart), means that you have given your dog a chance to be the dog you always wanted and knew that they could be.
All of the behaviors listed above, and I’m sure one or two maybe I didn’t list, are all grounded in your dog’s emotions. Changing their thoughts and thinking about things helps your dog be a calm, confident dog, whether it is you leaving the house without them, walking up on another dog they dislike and just going “meh, it’s no big deal.” Wouldn’t that be a delight compared to stress and anxiety for you both?
What is Perception Modification Training
Perception modification training, utilizing the methods from Training Between the Ears, teaches dogs to have a new outlook on life and things in the environment. I’ve used these methods to create a calm, trustworthy dog, even among the worst behaviorally challenged dogs, including human or dog aggression or fearfulness and anxiety. It is an entirely different training methodology that turns traditional training on its head and helps dogs when other trainers have failed.
How Does It Work?
Rather than focusing on traditional commands, we focus on using food (not treats) to help shape a dog’s behavior and reaction to things. We create an appetitive dog, which is a drastically emotionally different dog than a reactive dog who has very little control over their emotions. Every time we help a dog to calm down, become less reactive and more accepting of things in the environment, we are creating and helping the dog to be emotionally stable. We employ something known as the “Relaxation Triad” on top of the work to help show the dog what relaxation in the face of the stressor actually looks and feels like.
Once we have given the dog the skills to relax, then the true work of behavior, or in our language perception, modification and dog training can really begin.
Applying even basic commands becomes easier when your dog’s mind isn’t racing about a million different things or stressing about what might or might not happen around them.
If this approach sounds intriguing to you, and it should, then contact us to set up a free phone consultation to discuss your dog’s issues, your concerns and your goals. We have helped dogs that many other trainers have recommended euthanasia for, placement in a new home, or many other scenarios. We are here to help create a language for you and your dog to become successful as a member of your family and the society we live in.