a short explanation
What is canine behaviour training?
Canine behaviour training aims to help dog guardians identify, manage and retrain specific conduct in a dog which are unhealthy, unsafe or nuisance behaviours.
What is the difference between behaviour training and obedience training?
Obedience work generally covers a range of basic training such as sit-stay-come, 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, usually carried out in the dog’s own home.
What does a typical behavioural session consist of?
There is no typical session as such because every dog is different but broadly speaking a session lasts 2-hours during which time I like to have a discussion with the dog’s guardian 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 and when and how often the behaviour takes place.
Next we would look at specifics; that is the behaviour we are looking to change. This may involve outdoor work if the issue is poor recall or noise reactivity 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 aids as appropriate. Every session will consist of practical hands-on help, advice, recommendations, hints and tips, the dog's own personal assessment report and 3-months post-session email support.
What is positive reinforcement training?
My practice uses only positive reinforcement techniques meaning that all work is reward-based and humane and is based on scientifically-driven methods which encourage voluntary behaviour in dogs.
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING does not tolerate aversive tools or approaches to dog training.
NB aversive training means anything which causes startle, shock, fear or pain to a dog and includes but is not limited to choke chains, sprays, prong collars, electric shock collars, kicking, hitting, smacking, shouting, any use of physical force, manipulation or deprivation of any kind.
What breeds of dogs can be helped by behavioural training?
All types of dogs at all ages can be assisted by behavioural work and 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, while all behaviours can be improved, behaviours may be improved more quickly before they become habitual.
What types of behaviour can be helped?
All sorts of behaviour can be helped with one-to one work including:
- Puppy training (pre puppy class) and associated learning
- Fear and nervousness
- Leash work
- Separation anxiety
- Car training
- Elderly issues including managing Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (doggy dementia)
and much more
So when selecting a canine behaviourist for your dog please remember:
ETHICAL TRAINERS do
- Possess the skills, training, education and level of experience required
- Create a training environment that is creative, fun, enjoyable and safe for dogs and for people
- Adhere to non-aversive training methods
- Exercise respect, patience, consistency and kindness at all times
- Offer post-session support
- Pursue continuing education in the field
- Respect client confidentiality and treat other animal professionals with courtesy and respect
- NOT guarantee outcomes which cannot be guaranteed
- Freedom from hunger and thirst by providing fresh water and the right amount of food to keep your pet fit
- Freedom from discomfort by making sure that your pet has the right kind of environment including shelter and somewhere comfortable to rest
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease by preventing your pet from getting ill and by making sure that pets are diagnosed and treated rapidly should they fall ill or suffer an accident
- Freedom to behave normally by making sure that your pet has enough space and proper facilities
- Freedom from fear and distress by making sure their conditions and treatment avoid mental suffering
Animal Welfare Act 2007