Before you embark upon any behaviour modification program . . . . Before you embark upon any behaviour modification program, whether the change in behaviour is sudden or has been on-going for some time, it is important to first consult with your veterinarian in order to rule out any medical problems that may be the contributing factor to the change in behaviour.  Many types of medical conditions including pain, thyroid or other hormone imbalances can be the cause of a variety of changes in behaviour ranging from a change in eating or elimination habits,  reluctance to play or interact, to irritability, aggression, even biting.

No one really wants a “problem dog”.  Having such a dog takes a huge emotional toll on the humans involved, sometimes changing the way a household has to function in order to support and live with the dog.  The social pressure to have our dogs “get along” with all dogs and people is enormous and with a dog experiencing a behaviour issue is simply sometimes unreasonable.  Unfortunately there is little patience or understanding for "problem dogs" and their guardians as they try to work through their issues.

Aside from the emotional toll on the human, there is also the emotional toll on the dog to consider. Dogs do not choose to be fearful, anxious or reactive however this state of being puts them constantly under stress as they attempt to live with their fears or phobias.  When a dog is feeling panicked they are unable to reason logically and the resulting outcome is often exhibited in the form of barking, growling, lunging, etc.  A dog who has reached the panicked stage is unable to process any information you give them.  They are over the top and unable to appropriately process what is going on and therefore will be unable to hear you let alone process what you are trying to tell or ask of them.

Under normal circumstances Dog Training requires a great deal of patience and consistency in the  application of training from the owners.  Behaviour modification programs are no different in that respect, however, as owners and/or trainers of inappropriately reactive dogs, there is the additional need to be aware of how our own feelings of being stressed, embarrassed, as well as any growing frustration can and does affect the outcome of training.  Although never easy it is important to separate these personal feelings from the dog’s reactivity behaviours and not react in a punishing manner or resort to punishment to "correct" behaviour.  It is all too easy to use punitive methods, particularly when those seemingly "miracle" cures are constantly appearing on TV from trainers who are referencing out-dated, but logically-sounding theories concerning dog behaviour,  “dominance” and "pack leadership".  So what do you do?

A Behavioural Consult can give immediate aide to a family with a dog exhibiting problem behaviours.  Generally a dog with behavioural issues is in need of more attention than what can normally be given in a regular class situation.  Behavioural Consultations will evaluate and profile the dog, the behaviour and the situation.  A customized program to reduce or change the problem behaviour will be developed in conjunction with private consultation with your Veterinarian (where necessary).  

Process:  You will be asked to complete a confidential Behaviour Questionnaire before your first consultation appointment in order to obtain as complete a history profile as possible.  After your Initial Consultation you will have the opportunity to read and discuss the report so you will be able to determine what to expect before committing to the Behaviour Modification Process.  You will see how the process will work and the training exercises required along with suggested time frames.

Partnership: In order to work with you and your dog’s problem behaviour, we also need to work closely with your veterinarian (where necessary).  All manner of communication between Dogwise, Yourself and your Veterinarian is private and confidential.  If required you will need to authorize contact between Dogwise and your Veterinarian.

BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATIONS IN-HOME:  $150 for the first 90 minute session.
Please contact the Dogwise Training & Behaviour Center office for more details