During a Behavior Problem Solving session, I try to assess and evaluate the problem behavior and give homework using animal learning theory, desensitization, counter-conditioning and other proven techniques to start to modify behavior. The use of many methods to intervene in helping the dog feel safe and count on their owner for support and guidance.
I take into consideration the environment, the family support, and the consistency of a low drama (conflict-oriented) living situation.
I like to focus a little on the effects of understanding the causes. I feel that the owner has more compassion when they can see and understand a bigger picture. To see things from the dogs perspective is a very healthy part of that process.
We look at limited socialization and other environmental experiences that may be altered some associations. Usually we want puppies to learn that the world and objects in it are all good. A more confident puppy is what you want, rather one associating bad things and thinking things novel in nature are harmful.
Confident puppies are not born, they are made. They are not made by going to puppy play groups, they are made with an understanding of what true socialization really is. Get in to a good puppy program that not only plays with other puppies but teaches you how to socialize your puppy and build a confident puppy.
I speak of puppies, because it is this phase of life where we can do some good by going over some preventative games. Even though we need to also talk about genetics, how breeder can help, and that some breed differences take charge in some cases, we can benefit greatly with understanding and showing some compassion.
Starting with a private coaching session is a healthy way to start any new relationship with your dog, no matter if problem behaviors are surfacing.
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