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Treating Behavior Issues Versus "Training"

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how to work with dogs who have serious behavior issues. The biggest myth we hear is that it’s just something we need to “train” the dog not to do. But when we’re dealing with things like fear, anxiety, and aggression- it’s about far more than training.

🚪it’s about management- using doors, baby gates, leashes, muzzles, covering windows, etc. It’s about limiting triggers for safety and for quality of life.

🎾we provide lots of enrichment, giving outlets for natural behaviors, exercise, and brain stimulation.

💡we explain dog behavior and wait for “lightbulb moments” where people understand why the behavior might be happening and what they can do to prevent it. We give them tools to respect their dogs’ communication and improve their overall bond.

💊we often recommend that families talk to their vet or a veterinary behaviorist about appropriate medication options. We cannot “train away” a deep and daily anxiety about the world in general, and we work with veterinary professionals to help dogs feel safer.

☯️we have hard conversations and talk about acceptance. Sometimes our dogs are just not going to be the dogs we once wished they were- and it can be really hard to accept that your dog isn’t a dog park dog, or won’t be able to go to the picnic with you. At the same time, we provide acceptance that these things are ok! Not taking your dog to the coffee shop doesn’t mean you’re failing them, it just means you’re doing what’s right for that individual dog (and you) versus the idea of a dog that you once imagined.

Need some help working through behavior issues? Set up a consultation or find a certified positive reinforcement trainer in your area.


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