Help for Reactive Dogs
If you have a reactive dog you will be interested to hear about Reactivity Treatment Clinics. Currently in Devon, these will be spread out to the wider area soon.
A Brief Taster Introduction to Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT)
© 2011 Grisha Stewart, MA, CPDT-KA For more information see http://FunctionalRewards.com
BAT reduces reactivity by giving dogs socially acceptable ways to communicate their needs. By taking a Functional Approach
When the dog does a problem behavior, it is usually because an event in their environment, an environmental cue, triggers the dog to want or need something. Fulfillment of the need or want that is triggered by the environmental cue is called the functional reward.
Here’s the sequence:
So the functional reward for behaviors done after seeing a steak are the eating of the steak. The functional reward of behaviors done after spotting the squirrel is getting closer to / chasing the squirrel.
To discover the functional reward of a problem behavior, look at the consequence of the dog’s behavior – what are they earning from the people, dogs, and world around them by doing the behavior? For example, when dogs bark, lunge, growl, etc., one big consequence is usually an increase in distance from the trigger (they scare it away or are allowed to leave themselves). So we use increased distance—walking away from the trigger—as a functional reward.
Technically, consequences only reinforce behavior, i.e., make behaviors more likely to occur the next time, but in everyday English, we often say that we reinforce or reward the dog. It’s just simpler.
For more details published resources are available
• Intro to BAT (1.5 hour DVD)
• Organic Socialization (3 hour DVD + bonus disk)
• BATting 1000: Two Day Seminar (10 hour DVD)
• Give Your Puppy a Choice (2 hour DVD)
• Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Aggression, Frustration, and Fear in Dogs
• The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual: A Practical, Force-Free Guide to
Problem Solving & Manners (book)
• See http://functionalrewards.com/bat-videos-books
Basic Steps for Problem Behaviors with BAT
1. Analyze to discover the functional reward of the problem behavior.
2. Expose to a subtle version of the trigger. Don’t go so close or make it so challenging that the dog does the problem behavior, including panic or aggression. Make it obvious what the dog should do, but not so easy that he’s not making a choice at all. Breathing should be fairly calm.
3. Wait for good choices (ex. look at trigger, then look away or stop pulling on leash or…). If distress increases, abort the trial rather than letting the dog flounder.
4. Mark with a word or clicker.
5. Give access to a Functional Reward – fulfill the need that triggered the behavior you are trying to change.
6. Optional Bonus Reward, like food or a toy, esp. on walks - distracts from trigger.
There is much more information about this, for more information please contact Kat Middleton Canine Behaviourist http://www.dogbehaviourist.net
Dog Obedience Training - Clicker Training What is it?
Training Sessions are ideal if you would like to train your dog in basic obedience. Also for people whose dogs have less serious behaviour or training problems such as jumping up, poor recall or pulling on the lead etc. and basic obedience for dogs of any age or breed. I conduct 1-2-1 training sessions using scientifically proven methods called Operant Conditioning, and Classical Conditioning also positive reinforcement training, often using a clicker to establish the desired behaviours. If taught correctly, this is a very effective method which is simple to use. ALL dogs of any age respond to it, even those who ‘don’t like treats’, (I will find something that motivates them!).
Training will calm your dog as it provides mental stimulation, and it will create an attentive bond between dog and handler - because dogs love it! When behaviours are established, you can wean them off the continuous reinforcement, but always praise good behaviour, and spontaneously reward the best responses with treats, tug toy, or a ball game. Progress will be determined by the time, consistency and commitment you can give to practice, (at least 3 x 5 minutes per day). Clicker training will also be included in counselling consultations for problem dog behaviour as part of the advised behaviour training.
1-2-1 Training sessions can be held at your own home or local dog walking area. If you have a young puppy you wish to socialise, or if you would like to work on re-socialisation for an older dog, I have a dog who has excellent canine social skills and 2 horses that I use for socialisation.
Duration of a 1-2-1 Training Session is usually 3 hrs.
Dog training classes: Clicker obedience training courses for small groups
The classes are run as a five week puppy training course and are by appointment only, ensuring small group sizes for individual attention. Adult dogs may also attend an adult-dog course. These are courses in basic dog obedience training covering all the necessary skills such as: sit-stay, down-stay, recall, walking on a loose leash, look, drop, leave, fetch, imaginative thinking, and target training. (Restricted to 5-6 dogs, all members of your household that can attend are encouraged to do so). By the end of the course you will understand the concept of training, and be able to teach any behaviour you wish. Groups are regularly held at Okeford Veterinary Centre, Okehampton, cost £40 for the 5 week course.
I will show you how to:
Teach your dog to sit-stay, down-stay, stand, come, walk on a loose leash, leave, drop, look at you on comand, recall, fetch, and target an object or place.
Does your dog pull on the leash?
Pulling is one of the most common problems that people ask me to help them with. I sell a 'stop-pulling' halter called the Snugmutt Training Halter. It is a gentle and haumane anti-pulling halter which has a fixed action, i.e. it does not constrict or tighten around the muzzle or neck (unlike a lot of halters on the market). It will not chafe or pull up into the eyes, (which is also a problem with some others). It works because when the dog pulls, their head is guided round to you. This is also useful for dogs with behaviour problems involving 'eyeing' other dogs and becoming reactive and lungeing, or 'eyeing' sheep - you can guide their head away from such things and get their attention on you, then it is easier to give them alternative behaviours to perform, or simply walk in the other direction, thus interupting the whole behaviour chain of 'eye-lunge-chase-attack' etc. You can view and buy it for only £6.50 on My Products page.
For more info or help see my website http://www.dogbehaviourist.net/
Holding a 1st class Bachelor of Science with Honours Degree in Behaviour, I work holistically to improve your dog's behaviour and enrich the relationship you have with eachother. I believe in the importance of combining Behavioural Therapy with Training in order to identify the root causes of behaviour problems, advise people how to address the causes, then train alternative and more desirable behaviours. I practice Cynopraxic Behaviour Counselling (an holistic approach focusing on the dog-human relationship). I am committed to helping people to understand their dog's communications, and utilise dogs' natural ability to learn by association. Providing people with gentle and effective methods in an individually tailored Behaviour Modification programme and training strategy, I demonstrate how to train dogs in a simple and clear manner through positive reinforcement, clicker training, and non-confrontational methods.
I have achieved a 1st class BSc Honours top-up in Equitation Science.
How I work:
I encourage both dog and human to progressively stretch their comfort-zones; developing confidence and greater self-awareness through positive experiences. I teach people how to develop control with non-confrontational methods. The rewards of this process are; personal development, self-confidence, self-awareness, empowerment, and calmness. The result is; a more harmonious relationship between humans and dogs through mutual respect.
I am told that I am a natural communicator, and hold the Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills CPCAB (Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body). I work with people of all ages and levels of experience, and all breeds and ages of dogs. My compassionate approach is especially appreciated by anxious and less confident people, who are comfortable with my progressive, positive, experiential methods utilising encouragement not force.
Along with consultancy and rehabilitation of behaviour problems and obedience training, I offer advice on selection, management and training of your dog, through all stages of its development.
I aspire to be the best holistic behaviour counsellor I can be, using a dog & human relationship centred approach; (cynopraxic) considering the many factors which can influence the relationship between dog and person. I believe in the importance of keeping up to date with the latest behavioural research, methods and continued education, therefore I have currently completed a BSc (Hons) in Behaviour. Offering advice on complementary therapies, where appropriate, I also provide canine-calming-massage, or recommend other canine professionals to promote the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of your dog.
I will always endeavour to provide an excellent service which will :-
Even as a child I was always fascinated by animals and wondered why they do what they do. Watching and playing with stray dogs and walking neighbours dogs was my only way of being with them as a child, because in a single parent family it just wouldn't have been fair to keep one. About 20 years ago I worked as a dog warden and learned a lot about the differences between the behaviours of various breeds, sexes/neutering and ages of dogs. As part of my job I liaised with dog experts in the RSPCA and veterinary practices, this broadened my education. During this time I lived at a kennel yard and helped out there. I adopted two rescue dogs at this stage who also taught me how much I didn't know!
About ten years later, when I acquired and trained my own young horse I realised that whilst dogs and horses are completely different animals, their basic behavioural responses appeared similar, and the principles of how they learn are the same. Now becoming quite experienced, I was being asked to help to train other peoples horses and dogs so I decided that I needed more serious knowledge! Prompted by my best friend and supported by my long-suffering partner, I undertook a University Foundation Degree in Behaviour & Training, and now a Bachelor of Science with Honours Degree. I now have a growing client base and receive referrals from 5 veterinary practices in Devon. I am very lucky to live in the best UK dog-walking and horse-riding area of countryside on the edge of Dartmoor with my partner, our 2 rescue dogs and 2 horses. I have adopted rescue dogs classed as difficult to re-home, having been returned to rescue centres repeatedly after biting their prospective owners, or are highly reactive to other dogs. So I know how upsetting and stressful it can be to live with dogs that have behaviour problems.
For a Behaviour Counselling Consultation, 1-2-1 dog obedience clicker training at your home or mine. Or for 5-week clicker training basic obedience group courses, (max 6 dogs); at Okeford Veterinary Centre, Okehampton Wed or Thurs evenings, 7:30pm please contact me:
For info, help or an informal chat see the contact details via the website
My Location: Okehampton, Devon
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