Every Behaviour has a Function. How can we help dogs overcome problem behaviours?

Every Behaviour has a Function.

When we analyse a specific behaviour by what we see we must do our best to understand its function so that we can find a way to treat it successfully.

Unfortunately, there are still many families, and more unfortunate, many dog trainers who will simply use tools and methods to “delete” the undesired behaviour without considering its function or even the wellbeing of the dog.

Such methods and tools are choke chains, prong collars, e-collars, the use of force, intimidation and overall dominance.

These, if correctly applied, might stop the undesired behaviours, although they do not take into consideration their function, or the dogs’ needs and overall wellbeing.

An example:

Dog A barks and lunges towards dog B because he feels insecure and uses such behaviours to protect himself.

By using any of the methods and tools mentioned above, I could stop the barking and lunging, but I would not help the dog A to feel more secure around other dogs B.

In fact, I would do the opposite.

Besides the stress created by the presence of other dogs B, dog A would now feel extremely stressed due to the discomfort, pain and overall fear and intimidation due to the use of such tools.

Dog A would also stop to trust his family or handler because these are the ones who implement the pain, discomfort and stress with such tools.

In short, the Relationship and Trust between dog A and his handler or family would be completely broken.

But there is more…

When a dog finds himself in so stressful situations without the capacity to avoid them, they may very well enter a state of Learned Helplessness.

Learned Helplessness is a syndrome that dogs might enter if they are under punishing/aversive events repeated times without the possibility to escape them, until the point where they shut down, they give up, they simply stop to behave (ever seen a dog wearing a choke, prong or electronic collar looking extremely calm?).

We could label such syndrome as a deep depression to be easily understood by humans…

Instead, what we must do the help dogs, is to analyse their behaviour and its function. And how it is related to the dogs’ environment.

We must use methods and tools to change behaviour positively. Methods and tools that tackle the root of the behaviour problem and can diminish and eventually erase that behaviour problem through positive experiences that provide confidence and choice to the dog being helped.

If you have a dog with any behaviour problems and you get help from a trainer or any other human really… That will advise any type of training or therapy which uses aversive/punishing/intimidating methods and tools, move away and search for another trainer!

To help dogs to overcome their issues, we must use Positive Reinforcement based training only, that means, positive experiences and outcomes.

Be helpful, be respectful, be kind.

Help your dog.

Thank you,

Ricardo Ministro

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

www.connectedbehaviour.co.uk

www.facebook.com/connectedbehaviour

www.instagram.com/connectedbehaviour

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Dog Training Dunfermline – Dakota the Staffie

Dog Training Dunfermline
Dog Behaviour Dunfermline
Dog Trainer Dunfermline
Dog Behaviourist Dunfermline

I have been meeting Dakota and her mom for training sessions for a couple of weeks now and we are starting to see Dakota changing her behaviour in relation to strange dogs.

Before, she would bark and lunge, and when not, she would still be very focused on them.

After a few sessions and Dakota’s mom hard work during their daily life implementing what they have been learning in our sessions I can recognise that Dakota is much more relaxed than before around other dogs.

In our last session, Dakota did not react to any dog even once.

It is still a work in progress, but Dakota and her mom are definitely in the right track.

It feels my heart to be able to see the results and to know that I can help dogs and their families to have a better relationship and have a better life.

Comments welcome,

Thank you.

Ricardo Ministro

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

http://www.connectedbehaviour.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/connectedbehaviour

http://www.instagram.com/connectedbehaviour

Dog Training Dunfermline – Skye the Irish Setter, Intrahousehold Aggression

Dog Training Dunfermline
Dog Behaviour Dunfermline
Dog Trainer Dunfermline
Dog Behaviourist Dunfermline

Problematic Behaviour(s): Skye has shown daily aggressive behaviour to her brother. Skye’s dad.

I have been working with Skye for a couple of weeks now and we are doing good progress.

We start to see Skye more relaxed and able to work with her dad in the presence of her brother without any incidents.

The therapy has been done mainly with clicker training, and when not, we still use plenty of treats as added reinforcement for desired behaviours.

Is your Dog aggressive or reactive?

Get in touch, I can help!

Thank you, Ricardo Ministro

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

http://www.connectedbehaviour.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/connectedbehaviour

http://www.instagram.com/connectedbehaviour

Dog Training Dunfermline – Missie the Staffie

Dog Training Dunfermline
Dog Behaviour Dunfermline
Dog Trainer Dunfermline
Dog Behaviourist Dunfermline

Missie is a lovely rescued staffie that I had the pleasure to work with last week.

Missie can get over-excited with several changes in the environment and will also pull towards other dogs.

In our first session, we worked on developing a connection between Missie and her mom, improve her recall and also be calmer around dogs.

After a while into our session, we finally started to see Missie offering really cool behaviours that we can develop further to improve her behaviour.

Is your dog over-excited or disconnected from you when out and about?

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

http://www.connectedbehaviour.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/connectedbehaviour

http://www.instagram.com/connectedbehaviour

Dog Training Dunfermline: Dog Walk Blueprint

Dog Training Dunfermline
Dog Trainer Dunfermline 
Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro
http://www.facebook.com/connectedbehaviour

Walking Dogs is a daily routine for many of us, and even for those who do not do it every single day, it should still be part of the agenda on a regular basis.

 
The problem is that many Humans see the dog walk as another task, as another job to do, as another chore.
 
And that, sometimes, is not even consciously understood by oneself.
 
The results of it are walking dogs in over-stimulating environments, walks dogs in a rush, or walk dogs in a fast pace to exercise them physically…
 
The truth is that such type of walks is not going to improve a dog’s quality of life or their behaviour.
 
In fact, it might do the opposite.
 
A walk should be a time to slow down, reconnect, explore and be mindful of the present moment.
 
Some of you might be thinking just now that your dog is not “label ( calm, relaxed, obedient, interested, etc) ” to engage in such walks…
 
That is not far from the truth, and I can say that with confidence because I have been implementing such walks with highly aroused rescued dogs, and that has greatly decreased their arousal level and even showed me completely different dogs from the ones I saw inside of the kennels!
 
Take a breath, slow down, relax, and enjoy the walk with a Dog.
 
Thank you,
 

Ricardo Ministro