Does your dog:

  • Jump on people
  • Bark at people
  • Growl at dogs
  • Guard their toys
  • Chase birds
  • Attack your other dog
  • Pee on the carpet
  • Hump your leg

The starting point for nearly all behavioural issues is developing a communication and teaching system to encourage, direct and reinforce desirable responses, and to actively develop your dog.

Nearly everything starts with obedience training.

What is obedience training?

Obedience training isn’t a series of moves that you do in synch with 10 other dog owners on a Saturday morning in a paddock somewhere.

 

Obedience training is a communication and learning system. Obedience allows us to guide (communicate clearly) the dog through difficult scenarios, with the goal of creating more positive outcomes. By no means is it the answer to all of your dog’s development, but it’s a solid 70-80%.

The motivational processes we layer into our obedience also focusses on biological fulfilment. A big part of this is finding a sport for your dog; their happy place where they can be a dog and have an outlet for their innate drive. Much of the time this alone can create significant behavioural changes across the board, with benefits in every part of the dogs life. A happy fulfilled dog is far less problematic to live with, providing you structure the game/sport appropriately.

We leverage heavily off obedience when modifying behaviour; it super-charges the emotional development/classical conditioning elements of your dog’s training. Obedience allows us to have a far greater control of the setup/outcomes or training sessions and allows us to adequately reward desirable responses.

Once you have established:
  • Markers
  • Effective reward systems
  • Obedience behaviours (sit, drop, recall, loose lead walking)
  • Leash skills (coming off pressure)
  • Engagement
  • Play skills
  • Proofed your obedience in multiple environments under varying distraction
You now have the means to guide and reinforce behaviour  in many challenging scenarios. Your ability to create more consistent successful outcomes ultimately defines a successful training process.

Without the required skill-sets in place we are merely wrangling. Miscommunication is the biggest factor in making undesirable behaviour worse. The process of wrangling or just attempting to fix an issue without a basis of obedience training is in most circumstances extremely unfair to the dog.

There are no short cuts in behaviour modification. When we receive enquiries for behavioural issues/concerns our response is consistently the same. Your dog will need a base level of obedience first. This may not always seem like the obvious answer or one you want to hear, but it’s the only answer that will give you both a solid foundation to work off and long lasting results based an actual training and behaviour modification, not just wrangling.

It’s much easier communicating with a 5 year old child with some basic education, over a 5 year old Tarzan.

Dave