Before deciding if your dog needs Behaviour Therapy or Obedience training, you should assess what you are hoping to achieve. There is a fundamental difference between the two and dogs and owners can enjoy and benefit from both, depending upon the requirements of human and dog. Obedience classes are normally held in groups on a weekly basis, often for a set period, and often work towards a specific level ranging from basic puppy classes up to advanced obedience and can be the start of a great and fun way to work with your dog. There are also residential courses, where your dog is left at the centre/kennel for a period, after which you spend a day learning how to command the dog in the same way as the trainer. These type of courses are mainly involved in specific work such as for gun dog training, to put up and retrieve game. Mostly reward based, these types of training are excellent for the 75% of dogs who are middle of the pack dogs, normally quick and happy to learn and obey. These dogs are the happy go lucky, friends with everyone, relaxed and willing companions that most of us are lucky enough to find. The reward based training can work well for these dogs, but for the other 25% of dogs, either “high pack” the confident, dominant dogs or “low pack” the timid, shy, nervous or fearful dog, a major component is missing.
The 100% rewards based “positive reinforcement systems are un-balanced, because they fail to acknowledge the natural way which dogs themselves communicate and learn. In the natural world, dogs will learn from each other, by establishing a functional leadership hierarchy. The natural born leaders with the strongest skills will educate the pack by correcting the mistakes of subordinates and junior members. Boundaries and limits are established as they learn social etiquette, respect for each other, and ultimately how to survive. The Bark Busters system embraces exactly this model by guiding behavioural outcomes through the establishment of simple structures and boundaries by combining a perfect balance of intuitive vocal corrections with lots of positive reinforcement in the way of praise.
At Bark Busters, we believe that dogs are never born naughty. Sadly however, many dogs are condemned as ‘bad’ and needlessly surrendered, re-homed or even euthanized, due to their owners’ frustration with failed attempts at understanding and communicating with them in a way that they understand. Our job is to bridge this gap between human and dog: to bring about a meeting of minds. Any behavioural issues, regardless of your dog’s age, can be modified and successfully cured using our kind, humane approach.
Behaviour Modification is the process of addressing and resolving specific dog behavioural issues ranging broadly from aggression problems, nuisance barking, separation anxiety, inappropriate toileting, destructive behaviours and self harming and other obsessive compulsive behaviours.
Most behavioural issues are a learned response to the experiences and environment in which the dog finds itself. This is why commencing a dogs training from the home environment is infinitely more important and more effective. Dogs learn by association of events, by interpreting information through their senses in a canine way. Most dogs aren’t born leaders, which is why they need us humans to provide good leadership for them.
Here is a list of the most common behavioural problems we are called to deal with.
Does your dog bark constantly when it’s not appropriate?
Does your dog get stressed when you leave?
Does your dog chew and dig out of boredom or otherwise?
Toilet training your puppy should start as soon as the puppy is home with you.
Does your dog continuously repeat certain behaviors more than normal?
Is your dog aggressive toward humans or other dogs?.
Does your dog pull on his leash during a walk and try to walk you?
Does your dog listen and follow your commands?