Dog Training & Behavior Modification
I receive many calls and emails from dog owners who want some form of dog behavior modification.
From brand new puppies to adult dogs, everyone is looking to modify their dog’s behavior for common issues like how to stop dog barking, how to stop dog jumping and how to stop dog biting, plus growling, fighting etc.; even behaviors that are natural to a dog!
I've seen behaviorists, veterinarians, etc., who have incorrectly approached dog behavior modification for many of these issues. Any time I interview a dog owner about a particular school or private session with a behaviorist they NEVER mention anything about dog training!
Dog Training Is Essential to Dog Behavior Modification
Dog training is an integral part of successful dog behavior modification.
First and foremost, if you are going to correct or modify any bad behaviors in a dog you must have the two most important things you need:
- Control of your dog
- Respect from your dog
Investing in professional dog training is highly recommended and not only teaches dog behavior modification but also teaches you how to apply the training to everyday situations (like the front door or food bowl).
Dog training and dog behavior modification go hand in hand and will go a long way in helping you to have a long happy and healthy relationship with your dog.
Understanding Why Dogs Behave as they Do
When the rules are clear and followed through you will find that your dog is much easier to live with.
It is important that dog owners understand WHY the dog is acting like it is.
In most cases, issues like excessive barking can easily be kept under control by simply exercising your dog, putting your dog through daily training sessions and limiting your dog's freedom in the house.
I understand that the average dog owner may not realize this, and hopefully this article will be of some value to them.
Positive Dog Behavior Modification
Here's a great example of positive dog behavior modification through correct dog training;
As a host you don't want your dog to jump on your guests so you want to somehow modify your dog's behavior. With proper dog training, this is as easy as it comes.
There will be no need to correct your dog for jumping on your guests if you put your dog in a sit/stay! If the dog has been trained it can't possibly jump on your guests from a sit/stay. Problem solved.
"But what if my dog breaks the sit/stay?" you may ask.
Well, as long as you tell me the dog is clear with that command, he should be corrected for breaking your command; and this will be clear to the dog why he got a correction.
Simulating and practicing the door routine is a must; doing these exercises in "real time" is simply not enough.
Serious Issues that Require Dog Behavior Modification
Occasionally there are some real issues that certainly need dog behavior modification. Some dogs will not get along with other dogs and some dogs growl around the food bowl for instance.
These types of situations should really be observed by a professional dog trainer so that a proper game plan can possibly be worked out. In most cases, bad dog behavior will get a percentage better, although in some cases it will not.
In any case, you will find that being proactive through professional dog training, plus removing certain triggers will soon control even these types of situations.
If your dog growls when you try to take a rawhide or bone away, then no more rawhide or bones. We can't be negative with our dogs for everything. Eliminate certain things, train the dog and keep them well exercised and you will find your dog will behave in a much better way.
About Professional Dog Trainer Frank D'Andrea
Frank D’Andrea is a professional dog trainer and owner of DP Dog Training servicing dog owners in New Jersey and New York including Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Hudson and Essex.
Our dog training philosophy involves three phases:
- The Learning Phase
- The Correction Phase
- The Proofing Phase
DP Dog Training offers professional dog training programs including Dog Ownership 101, Positive Puppy Training, Basic Dog Obedience, Advanced Dog Obedience, E-Collar Training, Behavior Evaluation & Rehabilitation and Housebreaking consultations.