At A Better Dog Home Dog Training, our dog training methods include positive reinforcement and humane, dog-friendly exercises to teach your dog proper and acceptable manners and behavior.
We can address all of the problems that you are experiencing with your dog, including everything from raising a well developed puppy to controlling fear and aggression.
Understanding your dog’s behavior is the first hurdle to addressing and resolving their behavioral problems. All of the following dog behaviors can be controlled and even eliminated with proper training.
If you recognize any of these behaviors in your puppy or dog, please contact us to discuss how we can assist you.
.. Obedience Training Commands
.. Correction Training Commands
.. Recall .. Coming When Called
.. Leash Control and Manners
.. Aggression Over Resources
.. Housebreaking .. Marking
.. Crate .. Kennel Training
.. Nervousness .. Timidness
.. Destruction of Property
.. Jumping .. Mounting
.. Mouthing .. Nipping
.. Biting .. Chewing
.. Control at the Door
.. Dog Aggression
.. Puppy Training
.. Pack Structure
.. Doorbell Manners
.. Separation Anxiety
.. Counter Surfing
.. And Any Other Behaviors
By training your dog to respect the pack structure within your home we expect to have them under control and looking to you for their cues on how to behave within three sessions. If more sessions are needed, you will receive them at no additional cost. Our programs provide unlimited sessions without additional fees.
Separation Anxiety / Separation Distress Syndrome
(courtesy of the SPCA)
“Dogs with separation anxiety exhibit behavior problems when they’re left alone. Typically, they’ll have a dramatic anxiety response within a short time (20-45 minutes) after their owners leave them. The most common of these behaviors are:
– Digging, chewing and scratching at doors or windows in an attempt to escape and reunite with their owners.
– Howling, barking and crying in an attempt to get their owner to return.
– Urination and defecation (even with house trained dogs) as a result of distress.
We don’t fully understand exactly why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and, under similar circumstances, others don’t. It’s important to realize, however, that the destruction and house soiling that often occur with separation anxiety are not the dog’s attempt to punish or seek revenge on his owner for leaving him alone, but are actually part of a panic response.
Separation anxiety sometimes occurs when:
– A dog has never or rarely been left alone.
– Following a long interval, such as a vacation, during which the owner and dog are constantly together.
– After a traumatic event (from the dog’s point of view) such as a period of time spent at a shelter or boarding kennel.
– After a change in the family’s routine or structure (a child leaving for college, a change in work schedule, a move to a new home, a new pet or person in the home).
Because there are many reasons for the behaviors associated with separation anxiety, it’s essential to correctly diagnose the reason for the behavior before proceeding with treatment. If most, or all, of the following statements are true about your dog, he may have a separation anxiety problem:
– The behavior occurs exclusively or primarily when he’s left alone.
– The behavior always occurs when he’s left alone, whether for a short or long period of time.
– He follows you from room to room whenever you’re home.
– He reacts with excitement, depression or anxiety to your preparations to leave the house.
– He displays effusive, frantic greeting behaviors.
– He dislikes spending time outdoors by himself.”
(courtesy of “The Dog Owner’s Guide”)
“There are several types of aggression: defensive or induced by fear, pain, or punishment; dominant; possessive; territorial; intra-sexual (male-to-male or female-to-female); predatory; or parental. A dog may exhibit more than one type of aggression.
Dominant-aggressive dogs are characterized as confident, macho, and “on the muscle.” They stand tall, up on their toes, with their ears up and forward. They carry their tails high and wag it slowly and stiffly from side to side.
They often have their hackles up, stare menacingly, and emit a low growl with lips pursed and teeth exposed. They will place a paw on the shoulder of another dog, mount people’s legs, and push children aside when going through a door.
Dominant-aggressive dogs are demanding of attention. They demand to go outside, demand excessive affection, are possessive of their sleeping areas, and stop eating commands (such as “down” or “wait”). Males lift their legs on everything, even in the house, even if their bladder is empty.
Most dominant-aggressive dogs are purebred males.
Defensive-aggressive dogs are much more ambivalent in their behavior. They display submissive body language (ears back, often flat against the head; avoidance of direct eye contact; lowering of the head and body; tucking tail between the legs; submissive urination) and they lick hands and roll over to expose their bellies. They resist handling, hate to have their feet touched, don’t like to be groomed, and often shy away from human hands.
These are the fear-biters; they may snap if cornered and will often bite at people who turn and walk away.
The late Dr. Harvey Braaf VMD listed the following symptoms of dog aggression. None of these symptoms should be ignored; each can be a predictor of serious aggressive behavior. A professional trainer should be contacted if the owner cannot deal with the problem.
In no case should the animal be abandoned to a shelter or rescue organization for adoption by an unsuspecting new owner. If you think your dog is aggressive check the following symptoms:
– Excessive barking;
– A tendency to snarl, growl, or snap to protect food;
– Overprotectiveness of possessions;
– Fearfulness in new situations or around strangers;
– Severe attacks on other animals, such as cats or livestock;
– Attempts to mount people’s legs;
– Snapping and snarling when petted, groomed, or lifted;
– Frequent attempts to chase moving objects such as bicycles, skateboards, cars and trucks;
– Repeated escapes from home and long periods spent roaming free.
Treating aggressive behavior is best handled by a professional, reputable animal trainer. There are a number of individuals who call themselves animal trainers who are poorly qualified. They often resort to brutal and sadistic methods such as “hanging” and shock collars to correct aggressive dogs. Excessive force and punishment are their main tools.”
When seeking a professional trainer, carefully interview trainers to find the one who uses the least amount of force necessary.
(courtesy of the SPCA)
“In order to understand why your dog is acting “dominant,” it’s important to know some things about canine social systems. Animals who live in social groups, including domestic dogs and wolves, establish a social structure called a dominance hierarchy within their group. This hierarchy serves to maintain order, reduce conflict and promote cooperation among group members.
A position within the dominance hierarchy is established by each member of the group, based on the outcomes of interactions between themselves and the other pack members. The more dominant animals can control access to valued items such as food, den sites and mates. For domestic dogs, valued items might be food, toys, sleeping or resting places, as well as attention from an owner.
In order for your home to be a safe and happy place for pets and people, it’s best that the humans in the household assume the highest positions in the dominance hierarchy. Most dogs assume a neutral or submissive role toward people, but some dogs will challenge their owners for dominance.
A dominant dog may stare, bark, growl, snap or even bite when you give him a command or ask him to give up a toy, treat or resting place. Sometimes even hugging, petting or grooming can be interpreted as gestures of dominance and, therefore, provoke a growl or snap because of the similarity of these actions to behaviors that are displayed by dominant dogs.
Nevertheless, a dominant dog may still be very affectionate and may even solicit petting and attention from you.
You may have a dominance issue with your dog if:
– He resists obeying commands that he knows well.
– He won’t move out of your way when required.
– He nudges your hand, takes you’re arm in his mouth or insists on being petted or played with (in other words, ordering you to obey him).
– He defends his food bowl, toys or other objects from you.
– He growls or bares his teeth at you under any circumstances.
– He won’t let anyone (you, the vet, the groomer) give him medication or handle him.
– He gets up on furniture without permission and won’t get down.
– He snaps at you.
Dominance aggression problems are unlikely to go away without your taking steps to resolve them.
Treatment of dominance aggression problems should always be supervised by an animal behavior professional, since dominant aggressive dogs can be potentially dangerous.”
A Note About Children and Dogs:
From your dog’s point of view, children, too, have a place in the pack hierarchy. Because children are smaller and get down on the dog’s level to play, dogs often consider them to be littermates, rather than leaders.
Small children and dogs should not be left alone together without adult supervision. Older children should be taught how to play and interact appropriately and safely with dogs; however, no child should be left alone with a dog who has displayed signs of aggression.