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).
“Adult elimination problems represent a significant source of distress for both owners and dogs. …incomplete house training is the leading cause given by dog owners for relinquishing their dogs to the uncertain fate of the animal shelter…underscoring the importance of preventing and resolving house-training problems”
Unsuccessful housetraining is a leading cause why dogs end up in shelters. House training is not an individual process, all dogs benefit from the same housetraining strategies. However, dogs may independently learn, depending on breed, size, early exposure to acceptable substrates and beginning at the breeding location. I am discussing training a new puppy, not training an adult dog with incomplete housetraining. However, the same strategies apply. If you have potty trained a child, you know, you need to be there during the early stages. Sometimes we are there to encourage, teach the location, patience and perhaps even model the behavior. During this process, the child had to learn to hold it or wait, at some point during the potty training.
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.
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.
One of the leading causes for giving up our dogs to the uncertain fate of an animal shelter is incomplete house training. According to several studies, elimination problems are the second most common behavioral complaint made to behavior consultants with aggression leading the list. There are several problem behaviors associated with eliminative behavior that requires a careful diagnostic review and should only be done by a qualified behavior consultant or board certified veterinarian behaviorist. House training problems can be easily prevented by following basic house training guidelines and using effective management especially when applied to puppies at an early age. It should be noted when encountering incomplete, improper or unlearned house training with adult dogs the best course of treatment would be to follow the same general guidelines for training puppies.