I don’t recommend ‘self-diagnosis’ using the Internet, but this section may give you a little insight into the importance of analyzing the role of the dog, the owner and the dog behaviourist.
More often than not, I am called in for issues that the owner has already tried to resolve on their own. Owners commonly hope that their dog will grow out of a bad habit, but truth be told, unless deliberately coached and coaxed, dogs become more entrenched in their habits as time goes by (just like us two legged mammals). Owners often reinforce their dogs problematic behaviour without even knowing it and then the dog gets blamed for getting it wrong.
For a relatively small expense and a dedicated amount of commitment, beneficial changes can easily be made. It’s really not true that you can’t teach old dog new tricks. Dogs learn quickly; it’s the owners that are sometimes a little slow.
The exciting thing about what I do is the diversity of issues that I’m called to consult on. Diverse issues call for diverse solutions and for this reason I’m never militant in my approach.
Meeting you and your dog will give me a chance to consider first a foremost, the needs of the owner. I key into you and your disposition to find a sustainable solution that will work well for you and your four-legged best friend.
To an equal degree, I consider the needs of the dog. No two breeds are alike and no two dogs within a breed can be considered the same. There’s no paint-by-numbers solution and I always, always, always take into account each individual dog’s temperament so that I suggest something that we’re all comfortable with.
Another factor I will consider is the environment. This pertains not only to your home but also to the general space that you share with your dog. This isn’t just about where your dog sleeps and the four walls that you share, it’s about the garden, it’s about the perimeter and it’s about the immediate surrounds. It also includes the space that your dog thinks he “owns.
In my experience, dogs that are integrated into the home are more secure, calm and “playable” than dogs that are made to “live outside”.
If I have to choose a key message to owners, it would be this. At the end of the day, it will be you that is left with the dog once I leave. I can only give you guidelines that will empower you to bring about changes - the onus will be on you to consistently implement them. Of course, I’m happy to provide ongoing support, but ultimately it is up to you to create the environment you desire. Your confidence is vital to a long-term solution. A confident owner equals a calm dog; a calm dog equals a happy home.
I get a great personal reward from my work and can talk dogs for hours, so please feel free to give me a call. It’s my passion and gives me endless joy to see families engaging with their dogs in a loving and successful way.
From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog. ~Mabel Louise Robinson