Typically, there are several ways to approach and define a problem dog behavior. First, a behavior consultant should have a clear understanding of what normal behavior patterns are for any particular species and that normal behavior may be expressed inappropriately depending on the environment. Second, the behavior consultant should consider a clients “…cultural and personal preferences and normative judgments” since they may impact the client’s “attitudes and expectations, scientific understanding, societal mores [customs] about animal behavior, and costs…associated with the dog’s behavior” (Lindsay, 2001).
Attention is considered the most basic form of behavior and “both classical and instrumental elements closely cooperate” mediating effective “perception and action” (Lindsay, 2000). In a broader view, “attentional activities specify a dog’s intentions, reveal a dog’s motivational state” and sometimes define what he is prepared to learn, thus “attentional activities” are said to “reflect a dog’s overall disposition to learn” (Lindsay, 2000). How we stimulate and control dog’s attentional behavior can have profound effect on training and behavior modification. Lindsay (2000) says “dogs pay attention to occurrences that are significant to them and learn to ignore occurrences that are irrelevant” and stimuli associated with pleasurable events or those associated with fearful events gain the most attention than other irrelevant stimuli.
Why consider the use of Shock Collars (E-Stimulus, E-Touch) carefully This is a bit technical but brief overview on this issue. I will do my best to make it easy for everyone to understand. In the JVB (2007) Overall evaluated the molecular and cellular use of shock on the learning process. She suggested, "we may be changing other behaviors or processes” with these collars technically called E-Stimulus Devices. Overall (2007) uses what she describes as “a landmark study” by Schilder and van der Borg published in Applied Animal Behavior (2004). Schilder and van der Borg noticed dogs exhibiting more stress related behavior when using these types of devices. Stress related behavior continued with the control group, during free time in the handlers presence while at parks, when dogs should be relaxed. Stress behaviors and/or conflict resolution behaviors is extensively defined in recent dog literature.
Learned helplessness is a complex behavior first identified by Seligman in 1967 who was studying experimental neurosis. One of Seligman’s experiments found “…dogs exposed to traumatic inescapable shock showed signs of neurotic elaboration and disintegration on cognitive, emotional, and motivational levels of organization” according to Lindsay (2000).
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. 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 visit http://www.responsibledog.net. 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.
At first I told him no, I didn’t do board/training work because at the time I felt owners were not following through, expecting the trainer to have reliably trained their dogs, with no commitment on their part necessary. Given the many options for using equipment, I still prefer using flat buckle collars, martingales, Gentle Leaders (if necessary), Easy Walks, and similar equipment. The problem I have with the arbitrary use of these other tools is most owners don’t have the skill to use them correctly and effectively, and many years ago one of our Doberman puppies, we had sold, hung himself on their chain link fence. However, unskilled handlers, trainers, and owners just as easily can be ineffective using a Gentle Leader, another reason why I believe dog owners need more help than ever.