Maya Rae McCallum MISAP 

Helping dogs and people stay together


Canine Behavioural Training

an explanation

What is canine behavioural training?

Canine behaviour training aims to identify, manage and retrain specific conduct in dogs which are unhealthy, unsafe or nuisance behaviours

What is the difference between behavioural work and obedience training?

Obedience work generally covers a range of basic training such as sit-stay-come, heelwork, recall etc and is usually conducted in a class setting.
Behavioural work will target one or perhaps two behaviours specific to a particular dog and the work will be on a one to one basis, carried out in the behaviourist’s premises or the dog’s home environment as appropriate

A typical behavioural session?

There is no typical session as such because every dog is different but broadly speaking a session lasts around 2-hours during which time I like to have a discussion with the dog’s owner to cover some basics about the dog, his lifestyle, his role in the home and behaviour in general as well as a description of the issue including identifying triggers including when, where and how often the unwanted behaviour takes place

Next we would look at trialling the behaviour we are looking to change. This is likely to involve outdoor work if the dog presents as reactive around specific triggers or is leash reactive for example or indoor work if the issue is guarding resources or separation anxiety.

Once initial observations of behaviour have been completed, a behavioural programme will then be created and implemented with the guardian so that the dog can be helped. Again, depending upon the issue, the plan may use training tools such as clickers, whistle and other techniques and exercises as required. Every session will consist of practical hands-on help, advice, recommendations, hints and tips, the dog's own personal assessment report and post-session email support is always available if required

What breeds of dogs can be helped?

All types of dogs at any age can be assisted by behavioural work although sometimes the answer lies in being able to manage a behavioural issue in the best way possible. However the sooner a dog receives help the probability of removing the unwanted behaviour and replacing it with behaviour that is more acceptable greatly increases. In other words, whilst almost all unwanted behaviours can be improved upon; those caught quickly tend to have a

higher success rate of becoming extinguished

What types of behaviour can be helped?

All sorts of behaviour can be helped including (but not limited to):

  • Puppy training (pre puppy class) and associated learning
  • Fear, phobias and anxieties
  • Aggression
  • Reactivity
  • Boundary work (barking, jumping, chewing etc.)
  • Leash work and recall
  • Trigger management
  • Car training
  • Prey drive
  • Elderly issues
  • PTSD
  • Rescue rehabilitation
  • Socialisation skills