Frequently Asked Questions
Contact us today if you are experiencing any of the problems below.
He Wont Come To Me When I Call
If only I had a dollar for every time I was asked about this situation. Definitely the second most common problem faced by many handlers.
Having a dog that comes when called it a number one priority for an owner. There is nothing more frustrating than a dog that ignores you and will only come to you if and when they feel like it.
Invariably a frustrated owner will instinctively reprimand their dog after they do return which has only a negative effect. This will only serve to create a cause and effect scenario, firstly, your dog has no idea of why she/he is being yelled at and what you have taught them is that there will be a negative association with coming to your call so that next time they will be even more reluctant to come to you. This cause and effect loop will only serve to weaken your bond. The madder you get the more reluctant your dog will be to listen to your commands in fear of reprimand.
Maintaining a consistent and enthusiastic recall instinct with your dog is built on the trust and relationship you have, your leadership qualities, the pleasures and rewards you provide, the boundaries you have set, the consequences for your dog of not doing as asked, and, most important of all, your dog’s innate desire to be with you—to be part of your team and your pack
I can give you advice on how to create these bonds and how to make you the main focus point of your dogs attention. If your dog sees you as the most interesting, fascinating and fun thing in its life then it goes without saying that they will want to be with you and near you at all times. Cause and Effect.
Barking or Fear Aggression?
Firstly it is important to recognise that barking in dogs is as natural as speaking in humans, it is their voice, their communication process and it would be unfair and unnatural to take that away from them. However it is the why, when and what they are using that bark for which could be a symptom of something else that is causing an issue. Is it incessant, excessive or a little bit of misbehaving? Could it be a warning signal to protect his pack or territorial or simply just good old excitement?
Excessive barking is normally your dogs way of sending you a distress signal saying that his dog needs are not being met. In the pack structure it is the alpha or leader that will normally project a calm but assertive energy. How does your dog view you? Are you stimulating his mind and physical requirements by giving him daily exercise adequate for his size or breed? Is his life with you and your family well balanced and structured?
It is well documented that people believe a dog who greets you when you get home by barking and jumping all over you is his way of showing you affection and undying love for you but this is not the case. He is telling you that he is bored lonely and has pent up energy stored up throughout the day. A dog in its natural pack setting would never bark, yelp, or jump on other pack mates in a sudden burst of affection so why is your dog doing this towards you? Remember, your dog requires exercise, discipline and affection in abundance to fulfil his emotional and physical needs and he relies on you as the pack leader to provide it.
Probably the most common question that we are asked covering a myriad of situations like;
“My dog just seems to bark at people when they come into the house and then run away”
“She’s so dominant around other dogs at the park but fine at home”
“I have difficulty walking him because he wants to fight every other dog”
It is difficult to say without personally meeting with you and your dog what is going on. Some dogs can be (to put it bluntly) a little disrespectful if they have positioned themselves higher than you in the pack order and will often display these traits when around other dogs at the park for example. It can also be a lack of socialization or understanding of how to react around other dogs. But sometimes this can come about if your dog has confidence issues or is frightened which can develop into a fear aggression. Fear aggression typically involves a defensive behaviour based on fear. Dog aggression stems from the dog’s frustration and dominance. The dog’s frustration normally comes from a lack of adequate exercise, and the dog’s dominance comes from a lack of calm-assertive leadership.
There is no one fix-all for solving fear aggression, as each and every dog is unique. However, helping a dog with fear aggression generally involves dealing with the underlying issue of fear, using conditioning techniques to help change the association of the fear.
Prevention is one technique that can help. By eliminating the situations that provoke the defensive behaviour in the first place your dog will engage less in that behaviour. As this defensive behaviour is a learnt habit, the more your dog engages in it the better he gets at it, therefor becoming more ingrained and self reinforcing.
One of the most important technique for dealing with this symptom is by beginning regular obedience training. Training not only increases the communication and understanding between a dog and handler but also helps the dog learn and perform acceptable behaviours. By using reward-based training, which is giving your dog things she wants for doing what you want, will foster trust and motivate your dog thus eliminating interest in those negative behaviours. There are many other elements involved with this symptom including conditioning, signs of distress, inappropriate and misguided correction (punishment). Punishment will only make a fearful situation even more unpleasant for your dog and can create mistrust toward you and an increased dislike of the scary object, and increases stress.
There are way too many scenarios to possibly detail them all here, anything from nuisance barking to excessive barking so why noyt call us today so we can look at your specific situation and work out what’s best for you.