23 July 2011

How do I stop my dog from ...

Training a dog to stop an undesirable behaviour can be hard work and time-consuming, particularly so for behaviours that are enjoyable, are well-established habits, or are stress reactions.  I uphold the view that a dog’s home, including the garden, yard and car, should be the ultimate haven – a safe environment that holds no nasty surprises or areas of tension between dog and owner – and as such, the use of aversive training tools and techniques to stop undesirable behaviours in the home is not something that I subscribe to.  However, many unacceptable or potentially dangerous behaviours can be easily resolved via a bit of management on our part – not with training tools or techniques, but simply by preventing the dog from doing the behaviour in the first place.  Preventing unacceptable, habitual behaviours also plays a vital part in the training of alternative behaviours, if indeed an alternative behaviour needs to be trained.  But sometimes, there is no need to train an alternative behaviour.  Sometimes, all that is required is to go with the obvious solution and leave it at that, provided of course that the dog is clearly having its needs met in other areas.  The obvious solution is not a cop out, and more often than not comes with a 100% guarantee of immediate success!

The following are my top 10, genuine questions from clients that I get asked on a regular basis, along with my answers ...

12 July 2011

Mood Food

The right nutrition can play an important role in helping to resolve certain behaviour issues.  On the outside, even a dog fed on the lowest quality ‘complete’ dry food can look the picture of good physical heath, but a cold wet nose and glossy coat aren’t necessarily indicators of good mental health.  Very often, problems such as fear, aggression, compulsive behaviour and separation distress can all be improved through changing or adding something to the diet. 

 

Using food to influence mood can speed up and enhance the training process too – think about it, if the brain’s neuro-chemistry is out of whack, what chance does training alone stand to change behaviour for the better?  Like the body, the brain needs the correct nutrition in order to function well.