Changing Behavior: Using Desensitization, Counter Conditioning and Counter Commanding to Modify Fear and/or Reactivity in Dogs

We have already discussed fear and reactivity in our dogs, how it develops and how they may demonstrate it. Now we want to look at what we can do to modify this behaviour. Desensitization and counter conditioning are the most commonly used techniques when treating reactivity and fears in our dogs. Within our Reactive urbanK9 program, we also combine this with counter commanding to work at truly changing the dog’s behaviour vs just stopping it.

Desensitization

This is the gradual...

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Beyond Obedience Skills- Helping Your Dog Adapt to Life

The foundation of your dog’s success in our human world is in mastering the basic obedience skills and then building on them. Basic obedience starts with learning how to pay attention, sit, stay, and how to walk on a loose leash. From there, you can move beyond obedience to develop a highly mannered dog who can be successful in our human world.

Want your training done for you? Check out our day school where we take care of your dog and train him too!

One of the things that can really...

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All Puppy Classes Are Not Equal

We strongly believe in starting your puppy training early because it teaches you and your dog how to work together to navigate this human world in the best way possible. This will help you build confidence, strengthen your bond and develop your relationship together. But all puppy classes are not equal, and you need to know what to look for, and ask about, if you’re going to get the best training for you and your pup!

Register now for our Puppy Training Demo – it’s free!

The...

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5 Things Bad Trainers Do

We know that you want to be the best dog owner that you can possibly be, and sometimes you just aren’t sure if what you’re doing is the right thing. So to help you out we’ve come up with 5 things bad trainers do, so you’ll know you’re on the right track.

Bad trainers:

  1. Use physical punishment– Aversive training practices, like collar corrections or hitting, can create fear and anxiety, neither of which are an effective learning state. Stick to positive...
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4 Normal Dog Behaviors That Are Problems For Us

 

It’s not easy for a dog to fit into our human world. Let’s face it, they often get mixed messages about what’s okay for them to do and what’s not, and the things they do naturally are often behaviours we really don’t like. Here are 4 common dog behaviours dogs that we see as problems for us.

The first one you have to deal with as soon as you bring a puppy into the house, is potty training. For dogs it’s a pretty natural behaviour to relieve...

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Gaining Focus: Building Attention with a Reactive Dog

Despite the many things that may be going on inside your dog’s mind, we can get their focus back on us.

One of the greatest challenges you will have with any dog, but especially if you are living with a fearful and/or reactive dog, will be gaining their focus back to you. The outdoor world is a distracting environment for all dogs, let alone our modern urban environment! There are people, other dogs, wildlife, vehicles, bicycles, loud noises and so much more. We must also...

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Calming Signals: What they are and why they are important

Guinniss demonstrates a paw lift and a lip lick in response to Domi drinking from his water dish.

Turid Rugaas, a dog trainer from Norway spent years observing wolves, wild dogs and domestic canines to better understand how they communicate. She came up with the term calming signals when observing canine body language and determined they are a means of communication used by dogs to calm themselves, each other and even humans, other animals or inanimate objects.

Many behaviour problems...

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5 Tips on How to Settle a Rambunctious Puppy

Imagine while you were a newborn just settling into this world at home. You’re under your mother’s care and surrounded by your siblings.

Suddenly, your utopic environment is turned upside down as you’re plucked away from familiarity and placed with total strangers. Confused and disoriented, you’d probably act out being a complete nuisance to the people around you.

Your rowdiness can only be justified in your mind because this is the most vulnerable position...

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Stress in Dogs: What it looks like and how it affects them

 

You can tell by the way this dog’s weight and ears are back, its tail is tucked and there is tension that it is under stress.

Stress is the body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. Dogs who are experiencing complex behaviour concerns such as fear, reactivity or anxiety are dogs that tend to be in a high state of stress and arousal. A stressful emotional response will inhibit clear thinking and activate the...

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