There is no magic word, or method, or training equipment that will immediately change your dog's behaviour because behaviour modification is a learning process taking time, repetition, and consistency. This also means that you need to learn how to work with your dog.
The majority of behaviour problems, including aggression, are caused by one thing: STRESS. Whether we see this stress in the form of anxiety, fear, frustration, or just plain over-arousal, the key to changing behaviour involves the same key elements listed below. Please keep in mind when dog owners contact a trainer in regard to a behavioural problem, they often want immediate help. However, much of the first and sometimes second training sessions are spent teaching "Basic Concepts and Exercises" "Calmness" and "Dog Language", also known as Turid Rugaas's "Calming Signals".
Most reputable dog obedience trainers at dog clubs can help you solve problem behaviour ranging from dogs jumping up, greeting their owners as they return, pulling on the lead, digging holes, failing to come when called etc. so why can't they fix this problem? Dr. Joanna Mclaughlan (Veterinary Behaviourist) answers this question " Why obedience training won’t fix your panicking pet."
The focus on behaviour medicine is very different from obedience training. A behaviour consultation is not a replacement for dog obedience training classes. While obedience training is still an important part of teaching your dog good manners, behavioural problems are not the same as training problems. Many highly trained obedience dogs still require a behaviour consultation as their issues are not related to training or a lack there of.
Hence a behavioural trainer (usually a member of PPGA) recognises the difference between a problem behaviour and a behavioural problem knowing the limits of their own expertise so does not want to make the problem worse by giving incorrect advice. These trainers will refer you on if they feel that it is best for your dog. But be wary of trainers who claim to be able to fix everything.
WHY HAVE I BEEN REFERRED TO A VETERINARY BEHAVIOURIST?
Sometimes a veterinarian or a trainer will suggest referral to a Veterinary Behaviourist for a particular behavioural problem. They have recognized the behaviour as being abnormal as a result of an emotional disorder or mental health issue that they may not be qualified to deal with. Some behavioural problems may initially seem ‘not that important’ but can be pre-cursors to more serious problems, or may indicate an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Good trainers, vets or a veterinary behaviourist often work together, The trainer will help you with
the behaviour modification program that the veterinary behaviourist has recommended and guide you into changing your dogs emotional response to any triggers. If we can change the conditioned emotional response to the triggers it makes the subsequent rehabilitation steps that much easier.
SOME STEPS TO BE DONE NOW IN THE REHABILITATION OF YOUR PET
1. If suggested by the group seek help from a behavioural trainer and/or Vet Behaviourist.
2 .Decrease your dog's stress level by keeping them feeling safe
3. Give your dog a Cortisol Vacation because the STRESS level bulids up causing TRIGGER STACKING
4. Manage your dog and manage the environment to prevent repeated practice of the Behaviour and if necessary block any visual stimuli your dog can see, e.g. the Postman, by using opaque Window Film on any see through windows or doors.
5. Increase your dog's tolerance and Impulse Control. 5. Teach alternative behaviours that your dog can perform in the scenarios in which problems have occurred. Our group recommends Tricks.
In the group's Files Area there are many helpful links in alphabetical order.
Finding a Force Free Behavioural Trainer.
Finding a Veterinary Behaviourist.
FINDING a Veterinarian who holds an interest in animal behaviour.
Group rules (The 'ABOUT').