One reason dog owners seek out the services of a qualified trainer is to help solve behavior problems. Since almost all such problems in dogs relate in some way back to the two main questions any dog has about life— “Am I safe?” and “What do I do with my instinctive energy?” —and since Natural Dog Training is geared to specifically answer those questions, we are usually better able to solve behavior problems than other trainers or even certified behaviorists.
Pack leader techniques tend to work by putting a lid on yoour dog’s emotions. Behavioral science techniques are designed to dull or deaden your dog’s natural feelings and responses through techiques like “desensitization.” Natural Dog Training is the only method that applies solutions geared specifically to correct the imbalances in natural emotional energy that cause all behavioral problems in all dogs.
From the natural perspective, curing emotional problems is usually just a matter of making the dog feel safe, and giving him a natural outlet for his energy. It sounds simple, and it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s quick or easy. Much of it depends on how long the dog has had a specific problem and how far away from normal the dog’s behaviors are.
Below is a list of common behavior problems in dogs. Keep in mind that some of the symptomology may be similar to a specific underlying veterinary issues. If you're unsure as to whether your dog has a psychological issue or an issue involving his or her physical health, always consult your veterinarian first.
"Uh-Oh! Here Comes Otis!"
These problems are solved fairly easily by giving your dog an alternative outlet for his or her prey drive, i.e., by playing fetch and tug-of-war. Some dogs don’t show an interest in playing these games, but Kevin Behan and I have developedtechniques that can turn even the most indifferent dog into a fetch or tug-a-holic.
*(My techniques are all based on Kevin's original ideas.)
"Because It Feels Good..."
Anxiety disorders usually come from issues surrounding a puppy’s oral development phase, and how a puppy is either gently redirected away from things she shouldn’t bite or chew on or is punished or scolded for nipping and chewing. Dogs are predators at heart. When they’re not given a safe outlet for their predatory emotions they can easily become anxious or depressed.
'When Are You Coming Home?"
Separation anxiety is one of the most difficult problems to solve because dogs are highly social animals and we sometimes project our emotional needs for comfort and security onto our dogs. In rescue dogs separation anxiety is often the result of the dog being abandonded. When such dogs are left alone they can go into a state of sheer panic.
The first step in solving separation anxiety involves cutting back on how much unnecessary attention you give your dog. Teaching the dog to enjoy being in a crate she’s left alone may also help.
Curing separation anxiety involves teaching the dog to play biting games like tug and fetch because they enable your dog to work out a lot of his fear and frustration through biting his toys in play. We also use tug and fetch to instill a deep calmness in dogs by slowly teaching the dog to hold a long down/stay (up to 30 minutes), always ending with a good game of tug or fetch.
"No Hurry ... Whenever You're Done..."
Food-Related Behaviors: Behaviors like begging, scavenging, stealing food off the table while you're eating, counter surfing, eating from the cat's litter box, coprophagia (eating the dog's own stool), and eating disgusting things outdoors are very common behavioral issues in dogs. First, make sure your dog doesn't have an underlying physiological problem causing these behaviors. Second, make sure your dog is getting a proper diet, preferably from a high-end dog food.
"I'm Kinda Depressed..."
Doggie Depression. (page still under construction)
"Because I Feel Safer Back Here..."
"You Think I'm Playing?"
Aggression: Leash Aggression. Aggression Towards Other Dogs. Aggression Towards Strangers. Aggression Towards Family Members. Fear Aggression. Sudden Onset Aggression. Resource-Guarding Behaviors: Guarding Food, Guarding the Bed, Guarding the Owner From Other Dogs.
The truth is, all aggression is based on fear. Fear infects the dog's normal responses to stimuli. If a dog could talk, and you were to ask him why he's acting in an aggressive manner he would probably say, "I don't know. I have a very bad feeling inside and I'm just trying to get rid of it!"
Common Training Issues: Not Coming When Called. Pulling on the Leash. Nipping, Barking at or Jumping Up on Visitors. Jumping Up Outdoors. Running Away, Wandering Off, Roaming. Eating or Rolling in Disgusting Things.