Responsible Dog and Cat offers dog training and behavior solutions, using pet friendly training methods. All services further the human-dog bond. Joyce Kesling, CDBC is a certified dog behavior consultant and professional dog trainer. To view my resume and how behavior and training problems are assessed click here.
Behavior problems include jumping, barking, chewing, digging, housetraining, socialization and play behavior. More complex behavior aggression, anxieties, fears, phobias, sibling rivalry requires a behavioral assessment, history, and observation. Read how dog training is assessed from complex problem solving clicking here.
“Behavior modification exercises are NOT, repeat NOT, obedience exercises. At the very outset, clients should be disabused of the notion that this is fancy obedience.” Karen L. Overall, MA, VMD, PhD, ACVB, ABS Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Psychiatry Department, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
Behavior problems are often complex requiring critical evaluation by skilled individuals educated in learning theory, animal behavior, the biology, and physiology of dogs and understanding of ethology. Owners often led to think training solves behavior problems employ unskilled dog trainers who often use ineffective punishment methods, if this were not true we would not see the overwhelming number of relinquished pets due to unresolved behavior problems.
Dogs are different from humans; this difference creates different challenges in training and effectively solving problems. Understanding canine communication and cognitive abilities are important elements of knowledge in educating owners how to prevent problems and conflicts between dogs and humans.
Owner relinquishment because of behavior problems is a growing trend and lack of training and resolution of behavior problems is the leading cause cited by numerous research studies.
Methods used for training and/or behavior modification include lure/reward, shaping, targeting, and play. Tools and equipment selected for training and behavior modification are those recommended and excluded according to “Good trainers: How to identify one and why this is important to your practice of veterinary medicine,” published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2006) 1, 47-52.
If you do anything for your pet, take the time to check the credentials/resume of the trainer and/or behavior specialist. Make sure they meet criteria and understand how to resolve a behavior problem defined by you. What may be unacceptable for you may be acceptable for another and may be a normal dog behavior operating in a dysfunctional environment. Problem behavior is a case-by-case study and why it’s important you choose the right person. If you currently have a conflict and/or behavior problem, you need a behavior counselor not a dog trainer!
Read, “What is a behavior problem” http://www.responsibledog.net/behavior_problem.html .
Joyce Kesling, CDBC
Certified Dog Behavior Consultant
Dog Trainer, Dog Behavior Specialist