For a behavioural issue and after arranging a home visit, I would begin a consultation by carrying out a full assessment of your pet by gathering all the necessary information from you, and I would observe any problem behaviours where possible. This allows me to consider all aspects of the animal’s lifestyle, home and family environment, and health. This information is then used to analyse the possible root cause or causes for your pets issues or behaviours. Many behaviours can relate to the here and now (diet, exercise, activity and frustration), but many pets can develop problem behaviours based on past experiences, events or even a cumulative sequence of issues that build in to a real problem for your pet and/or family.
After assessing and evaluating the issues that you are experiencing with your pet, and identifying the cause of the behaviour, I can then develop an individualized training plan for you follow, to rectify the situation.
The next phase is a partnership, one that includes you, your pet(s) and your family. As you are considering the need for a behaviourist it is clear you already have your pet’s best interests in mind. We must also include or consider your immediate family, the people you live with or regularly visit to maintain consistency and remove confusion during our treatment programme.
As a behaviourist I can give the help and guidance you need to correct the problem with your pet, this requires your commitment for the treatment to be successful. Together we can unravel the issues with your pet, lift the burden on you both and re-establish the harmony and understanding of your relationship.
All the techniques I use and recommend are reward based and do not involve punishment. There are already too many trainers and “professionals” that still believe in the out-dated dominance or pack leader theories, bullying your pet may temporarily stop one behaviour and ultimately lead to many more issues as a result.
My preferred method is the use of the Positive Reinforcement technique. In simple terms this method rewards good behaviour, it may be a treat, a play, or any related stimuli the dog would consider a treat allowing us modify and correct a pattern of behaviour. If you have a child that has an annoying habit would you use punishment, anger or fear to change the situation or would you encourage an alternative, nurture a change and reward the child when it achieves a goal? This is the fundamental difference between punishment and reinforcement techniques.
The treatment or training programme I develop for your individual case together with your co-operation and commitment to correct the problem or situation. With a defined time scale for your programme to make a difference, we can work together to save your dog from an uncertain future.
Every case is individual, just as no two people are the same, no two dogs even from the same litter are identical in mood or temperament and this can be the difference between a happy dog willing to follow you to the ends of the earth or tear up your furniture as soon as your back is turned!