behaviour modification

We can help you with a wide range of issues:

Although we specialize in aggression cases and cases involving anxiety, we also regularly assist with a wide range of other behavioural issues. Some of the most common behaviours are listed below. 

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Excessive Barking and Howling

Excessive vocalisation can be very frustrating for owners. It can disrupt peace in the household, it can create tension with neighbours and can even result in Council visits and fines. In most cases excessive vocalisation can be resolved with the implementation of a personalised behaviour modification strategy.

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Lunging at bikes, skateboards, prams, people or other dogs

 Lunging is a common complaint from owners. It can range anywhere from mildly annoying, to outright dangerous. It is a common reason for owners to stop taking their dog for regular walks. Lunging occurs for a wide range of reasons. Understanding the way the dog lunges and the circumstances under which he/she lunges can assist in finding the root cause. Once the cause is established, training an alternative response is typically easier and quicker than what most people expect.     

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Digging and Destruction

Digging in the yard, destroying furniture, chewing shoes or damaging other items can be a daily occurrence for some dogs. These behaviours can be extremely frustrating (and expensive) for owners. There can be many causes for these behaviours, however once the cause is established the unwanted behaviour can usually be significantly reduced or eliminated. Resulting in a happier dog, a happier owner and a less damaged home.

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Aggression

For owners, having a dog that displays aggression is extremely stressful; it poses an obvious risk of injury to humans and/or other dogs. It also brings with it the risk of legal action against the owner. The aggressive behaviour is only a symptom of a bigger problem; addressing the aggressive behaviour directly risks a "without warning" attack occurring at a later time. The first step is to understand why the aggression is occurring. If you have a dog that is showing signs of aggression please contact us to discuss strategies to resolve the issue - all cases are taken; including dogs that have killed other dogs or injured people.

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Separation Anxiety / Distress

Separation anxiety  / distress in dogs is a well-recognised condition. In extreme cases it can occur when an owner simply goes to another room within the home, however more commonly, it occurs only when the owner leaves the house. Signs of separation anxiety / distress can include; excess salivation, lip licking, tongue flicking, panting, pacing, hiding, destroying items, scratching at walls / doors, inappropriate urination or defecation, self injury, lack of interest in toys / food / treats when owner absent, or excessive or constant barking. If you suspect your dog is suffering from separation anxiety / distress call us to discuss evidence-based strategies for addressing this issue.

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Resource Guarding (possessiveness of food, toys, furniture, people or specific items)

Resource guarding is a very common issue. The root cause for this behaviour is typically very different to what owners expect. It is very important to not attempt to dominate the situation, or just take items away from a possessive dog; this can increase stress in the animal and can result in redirected aggression. The underlying emotion causing the behaviour must be addressed, in order to reduce or eliminate this potentially dangerous behaviour. Contact us for a personalized program to address your dog's resource guarding using a safe, kind, reinforcement-based approach.

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Lack of socialization

Unfortunately dogs that display anxiety, fear and aggression often miss out on going for walks, drives and other outings. Keeping these dogs isolated actually exacerbates the problem further. To avoid having these issues it is important that socialization takes place at a very young age. Socialization is extremely important for developing a dog that is relaxed and confident in a variety of different places and with a range of different people.  Although socialization is best achieved at a very early age, there are still strategies that can help adult dogs become more confident and relaxed in a range of settings. Call us if you would like to develop a plan to help your dog deal with new people, new dogs and new environments in a relaxed and positive way.

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Multi-species Households

Many households have a variety of pets. The expectation that all the animals will get along is not always the reality. Preparation for the introduction of a new pet is the best plan. If you are thinking about introducing a new pet to you home, we can help you to assess the likely outcome based on the individuals already in your home. If the arrival of your new pet is imminent, we can help you to manage the introduction process. If you already have a multi-species household, but there are issues that you would like resolved, contact us to organise an in-home consultation with you and your pets.

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Multi-dog Households

Many households have more than one dog. Homes with multiple dogs can be lots of fun for the dogs and the humans. However many owners describe issues with dog aggression and anxiety. Common complaints are apparent jealousy; possessiveness over the humans, toys or beds; fighting over food, bones, or treats; threatening behaviour; inappropriate urination in the home due to anxiety or territory marking. If you are introducing a new dog to your home we can help you manage the introduction process to give the best opportunity of a great outcome. If you already have issues between dogs within your home, contact us to organise an in-home visit. We can help you formulate a strategy to return calm to your household and provide a happier, more relaxed life for you and your dogs. 

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Babies, Children and Dogs

Dogs and children can create wonderful, emotional, and rewarding bonds, however this is not always the case. It is important to realize the potential danger dogs can present to babies and children. If you are have concerns about the interactions occurring between your dog and your child, or you are bringing a new baby home, contact us to organize an in-home consult and address the issues before a problem occurs.

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Relaxed Travel

Travel can be stressful or overly exciting for dogs. If your dog displays any of the following behaviours he/she is likely experiencing anxiety or over-arousal:

  • Doesn't get in and out of the vehicle in a controllable manner
  • Cries, whines or barks during travel
  • Paces or is unsettled while traveling 
  • Salivates excessively, pants, lip licks or tongue flicks while traveling

There are techniques available to assist dogs with enjoying travel in a calm and relaxed manner. This makes travel enjoyable for the humans too!