Pet dog training classes and 1-2-1 training & behavioural solutions, based in Horsham

There are many reasons why a dog might develop a behavioural or training problem.  The reasons are far from obvious, and are unique to every dog/situation.  They can range from a simple lack of understanding or training, to more complex issues.  Nature (the genetic make up of the dog) and Nurture (its experiences of life so far) also have an impact on the personality of the dog.

It is also important to consider whether the needs of the dog are being met.  Needs vary from breed to breed, and if a dog does not have an outlet for a strong breed-specific instinctive behaviour, then all sorts of behavioural problems can occur.

I help the owner to understand why a dog is behaving like it is, including what might be motivating the behaviour and what rewards the dog is getting from the behaviour.  Reward is a great reinforcer for any animal to repeat a behaviour, and it is not always obvious to us humans what a dog considers rewarding.

Dog showing teeth
dog steeling from table

Reward can come in may guises, such as a tasty treat, a fuss or a game.  But the reward can also be emotional.  Emotional reward can make the dog feel good, and the adrenaline rush that a dog gets from an instinctive behaviour such as chasing, or the relief it feels at escaping a potentially threatening situation, should not be underestimated.  Emotion is a powerful reinforcer of behaviour.

Because reward is so powerful in shaping behaviour, I only use positive, kind, reward-based methods.  I undertake one-to-one consultations in the client's own home, where I teach the owner to understand the reason behind their dog's behaviour, and provide them with the knowledge and tools in which to help correct that behaviour.