All Canines have certain behaviors from thousands of years of evolution and development. Dogs simply act like dogs. A dog only acts and reacts to its environment based on its understanding of the stimulus and input from surroundings, to generate a desired end result (dog language). In other words, to get along. Unless a dog is born as a hardwired psychopath, or created due to disease/medical pain or brain modifications through chronic pain, damage, or deterioration, any dog is recoverable as a happy, mentally healthy member of the family/pack. It all depends upon the commitment, patience, and understanding/education of the human pack members involved. Trust and respect can be gained in as little as 5 seconds, and can take as long as several years, depending upon the severity of the psychological damage to the dog, and the response from the human. Other than the hardwired, or medically induced behaviors, "it is never the dog, it is always the people" holds true for nearly 100% of the time.
Almost all dog behavior problems, in today's culture, are caused by man in some way. If left to their own devices, dogs would police their own, and the behaviors would be consistent with "normal" dog behavior. Humans control almost 100% of the environment that we place dogs into, and almost all of the behavioral problems that humans attribute to their canine companions are actually attributable to some aspect of the tension and misunderstanding created by humans themselves. Dogs left on their own (wild) are not an acceptable situation to man in and around a civilization. That fact, in itself, sets up potential conflicts as we are attempting to force canines to be subservient to our wants and wishes, into a human world. Fortunately almost all canines, save for Wolves, Dingos, Jackals, etc., are willing to accommodate man within the same home, and cooperate to adapt, adapt to survive. It is a beneficial relationship to both species, in most cases.
Our mission is to educate human pack members, and provide behavioral direction for canine pack members, so that a happy, healthy relationship is possible. Once both species "understand" each other, and learn to trust and cooperate in a relationship, peace in the household breaks out. Trust is built over time. A dog can change to its environment immediately. It takes some time for humans to see it with their own eyes to believe it. It is a process. While there are immediate results evident, any worthwhile relationship is an ongoing process. Humans must allow the time, have patience, and be "invested" in the process. In all but very severe cases, the rehabilitation of the dog, and the education/training of people can take place in their own homes and safe environment.
EMERGENCY! WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU CAN GET HELP:
If you have a problem behavior that has just occurred, or has escalated to the point that you can no longer feel comfortable with trusting your Canine Companion, but before we are able to make it to your house:
1. First of all, give us a call, immediately! We can help, even over the phone to help lower the level of the problem before we can get to you.
2. Do not give your dog away! It just becomes someone else's problem and you took on the responsibility when you adopted.
3. Do not seclude or attempt to "punish" or teach your dog a "lesson". They will simply see you as out of control and weak, and not only will they not understand what you are trying to do, but will not trust or listen to you. Canines are not human children with four legs and fur. They think and react differently.
4. Work with your dog, and attempt to provide completely calm, controlled behavior, in yourself. Do things in a "matter of fact" method, without emotion.
5. Reward behavior you agree with. Reward does not necessarily mean food. Sometimes that is the right response, but many times it is not. Your attention and praise are more valuable at repairing/rehabilitating. After all, you are trying to work with your dog, not get them to see you as a food source to learn tricks and games.
6. Take away your attention when your dog exhibits behavior you disagree with. Dogs do not have bad or good behavior. They are only responding to you and your reactions and behavior. Until you are shown how to "protest" unwanted behavior, at least remove your attention, with confidence and reserve.
7. Do not reinforce the unwanted behavior by doing the same reaction, only harder, deeper, louder!!!! Never hit or kick your dog!!!! If the response you have been giving is creating the behavior, the reason it has gotten more severe, is because you have stepped up the reaction that the dog is keying off of, and they too will ramp it up. Give the opposite reaction to the same unwanted behavior.
BEHAVIOR EXAMPLE: Defecating/Urinating indoors, or on object; Do not react! Simply clean it up without emotion. If you catch your dog in the act, do not yell and do not get upset. The dog has learned to "push your buttons" and has learned from your reactions and behavior. Simply stop what they are doing by walking quickly toward the dog that is "in action", without saying anything. Focus your eyes on it, and move quickly and purposefully. If you move rapidly with intent, they will stop and move away. Any predator understands that a being moving silently with intent toward them is the predator, and they are the prey. If they do not cease, a simple touch (tap) of a couple of fingers (like getting someone's attention) to the side of the dog will get it's attention and give it your intent. Once stopped, move them outside, calmly and with purpose. Leave them there while you calmly clean it up. Then let them back in. A repeat of this behavior, with calmness, intent, and consistency, will change the dog's behavior. They will begin to see that you are in control, and in charge of that situation. Along with other training of you, this cummulatively builds the sense that you are in charge, and know how you want your dog to behave. This helps to provide a foundation of trust, and understanding.
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