Behaviour problems in dogs are one of the main reasons that they are given up for re-homing, abandoned or euthanised. They create stress and conflict for both the dog and owner and they do not go away if ignored. Fortunately, help is at hand and in most cases the vast majority of behaviour problems can be resolved, or at least improved to an acceptable and manageable level. The types of problems that are considered behavioural include aggression towards other dogs/animals/people, fears and phobias, separation related problems and inappropriate toileting.
Treatment of behaviour problems begins with an initial home visit which lasts about two hours. During that time we will discuss all of the problem behaviours that the dog is exhibiting, we will examine the dog’s history in depth, and look at the relationship between the dog and owner(s). All of this information is used to help understand why the problems are occurring so that the most appropriate treatment advice can be given.
The relationship between the dog and owner is the first part of any behaviour programme that needs to be addressed and you will be given specific advice as to how to improve this relationship based on the information gathered during the history taking part of the consultation. You will also be given advice as to how best to manage the problem should it occur again, as well as step-by-step guidance to progress both behavioural training and any obedience training exercises that would be appropriate for you. Your behaviour programme will be explained in close detail verbally and you will be given advice sheets appropriate to your problems to follow as well.
Follow up assessment, support and advice then continues, usually on a fortnightly to monthly basis depending on the type and severity of the dog’s problems, and phone support is always available in between sessions. Some problems can be resolved relatively quickly and easily while others may take many months before significant improvement is seen. We will continue to work together as long as is necessary.
Perhaps the most important thing to bear in mind with any behavioural problem is that the longer it is allowed to continue, the more difficult it becomes to resolve – behaviour problems don’t go away in time, they get worse. If you think your dog might be in the early stages of a developing behavioural problem, getting help now will significantly increase your chances of successfully resolving it. If you know your dog has a behaviour problem already, intervention sooner rather than later will prevent it from becoming worse.
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