Here at Positive Pet Training I do a lot of referral behaviour work. These are cases sent to me from their vets for serious behavioural concerns. And thankfully there is a lot we can do to help these dogs and their families.
We work with a whole range of behavioural problems and help dogs and their guardians to understand each other better. We focus on changing how dog’s feel and therefore alter how they behave.
Common behavioural problems;
These “problem behaviours” are actually just symptoms of negative emotions, and sometimes physical medical problems too. So if we can help dogs to mange their emotions, the behaviour improves.
All of our work is science based and force-free, so we don’t hurt or scare dogs in any of our training. Scaring and hurting dogs is unethical, but also makes these behaviours driven through negative emotions even worse in the long run.
Prevention vs treatment
So we have treatment options and can make these dogs better. But it takes time, energy and a lot of patience.
Instead it is so much easier on everyone involved if we can prevent these negative associations forming in the first place. This is much quicker and loads more fun!
Preventing behavioural problems starts before your puppy is even born! Selecting dogs based on temperament as well as health for breeding is vital. Genetic predisposition for anxiety is seen so commonly and makes your job of raising a confident pup much harder.
There is then the rearing environment from 0-8 weeks of age. A calm, sensitive home environment will see a much more resilient dog than a barn or kennel raised litter.
Only then do you get to manage things! Working with a good force-free trainer, ideally from before you pick your pup up is a great start! Protecting your pup and appropriately socialising them ensuring they are having a good time, every time.
You will have set backs and things outside of your control. But if you control and manage everything you can you are likely to have a really optimistic pup who expects things will be ok!
Happy, confident dogs with a guardian who understands them and communicates clearly are really unlikely to develop serious behavioural issues.
So invest in the right pup, and the right training early on to save you all a lot of work and stress down the line!