In my years of rehabbing dog behavior issues, I’ve come to learn what to expect and for the most part, it isn’t pretty. It’s a big part of why I always do consultations for my behavior cases and people just wanting Off-Leash obedience. It’s to prep them mentally for what may come because the literature that can be found most commonly, actually doesn’t cover the kind of work that I do. There are more trainers like myself, that are putting more information out there, but it still falls short of all the Positive Reinforcement work that’s easily available.
Unfortunately, when dealing with anxiety, insecurity, fear, nervousness and aggression, in order to teach the dog how to better deal with stress, we need to put them under stress. This allows me to teach the dog how to better handle pressure, but many people have a hard time watching their dog go under such emotional distress that I then have to work with the owner to help them let it go. It’s even more difficult when working with a family because sometimes the family will be split on the training and it’s a constant battle to establish structure in the home.
My most successful cases are of course the ones where I’m allowed to just come in and do what I need to do and everyone is on board. I had a case recently that was severely aggressive and I was thinking she was going to take a while to turn around. By class 5 she was already going up to people into the home and asking them to pet her, including me! So kudos to her family for really doing their homework because I was expecting more along the 8 – 10 week mark before we started to see make that change. The aggression was easy to curb, it was the getting her to trust and approach people that was going to take longer.
That’s it for this week’s newsletter, until next time!
Jesus San Miguel
Canine Perspective, Inc.