Dog Training Edinburgh: Lemmy the Shih Tzu, Reactive Behaviour – The Process

Dog Training Dunfermline
Dog Trainer Dunfermline 
Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

“Problematic Behaviour(s): Fear of other dogs….if close to him…snarls/growls barks+tries to lunge at them…
Not too good with new people/strangers either.”
Lemmy’s mom.

I met Lemmy a couple of weeks ago after I received the message above and we have been working on Lemmy’s reactive behaviour since then.

We started by implementing appropriate lead handling skills and then reinforced more desired behaviours while making use of the correct distance at each stage to not make Lemmy feel intimidated.

After a few sessions, we can see really nice progress since our first session, although there is still some work to do.

Congratulations to Lemmy and his family for the effort they have been putting in in the training process.

Hard work pays off.

Questions welcome,

Ricardo Ministro


Dog Training Dunfermline – There are no “bad dogs”

Dog Training Dunfermline
Dog Trainer Dunfermline 
Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Although some dogs might show some undesired behaviours, they are never “bad dogs”.

Every behaviour is linked with the environment and as the environment changes, the behaviour changes too.

Is your Dog showing Reactive or Aggressive behaviours?

That is only because the environment provokes it.

And we can change that, with Positive Experiences.

Dog Training Dunfermline -Staffie, Reactive Behaviour – Behaviour Therapy Session

Dog Training Dunfermline
Dog Trainer Dunfermline 
Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Recently I met Dakota the Staffie.

Dakota does not feel comfortable when strange dogs approach her and she will react if they do so.

We have been working on her associations with other dogs around her and also on more desired behaviours in their presence.

We are still at the beginning of the process but we can already see some improvements in her behaviour.

And I would like to leave a note here.

If you have a Dog with Reactive or Aggressive Behaviour, avoid using any tools or methods based on dominance, intimidation or pain.

And even if you are told by a “trainer” that this is how it is done, it is not.

Putting the Behaviour Science on the side, I think we can all agree that Positive Experiences are much better for a learner and will increase the quality and results of the learning process.

If you are uncomfortable or afraid of anything, would you learn to not be by another person screaming, hitting, or intimidating you in any way…?


Questions are welcome,

Thank you.

Ricardo Ministro


Trust, the forgotten stepping stone 

Trust, the forgotten stepping stone 

How many Dogs Trust their Human families?

By the number of problems that some Humans encounter in their daily lives with Dogs, I would say that not so many.

Trust is something that we all can agree as a valuable part of life. Trust, or lack of it, will shape our own behaviour and impact our decisions and relationships in life.

The problem is that when it comes to Dogs, many humans forget that Trust will also play a major role in their relationship with Dogs and will dictate how successful such relationships are.

It is also forgotten, by many humans, that Trust needs to be developed with proactive steps and is not something that simply comes up by a miracle.

In fact, I am confident to say that, many humans, unconsciously, work in the opposite direction of Trust.

It all starts with the Humans’ inability to read dogs’ body language and recognise what a dog is signalling/“speaking” and the negative consequences of it.

As an example, we humans find hugging a very common behaviour towards our loved ones…

Although, hugging a dog is many times not pleasurable for the dog (due to not being part of a dog’s behaviour repertoire, at least with the same intent), and Humans fail to recognise that…
And usually what happens is that humans force such type of interaction over and over again with dogs and as a result, at least, there will be damage to the Trust between the human(s) and the dog(s).

Many other (sadly) common situations that damage Trust between Humans and Dogs are:

Removing a toy or food from a dog in a forced manner;

Shouting at a dog;

Pulling the dog away;

Forcing the dog (consciously or unconsciously) to interact with other humans and/or animals;

Not respecting a Dog’s space;

And so on…

All these situations do not promote Trust, in fact, they destroy it.

And as a result, we find dogs who show problematic behaviours like over-aggression or over-excitement in relatively normal life situations.

So to avoid such problems, Humans should proactively work to build Trust between them and their Dogs from day one so that they can live fulfilled and happy lives.


Relationship, Relationship, Relationship

In our world, there are several approaches to Dog Training and also several ways to get Dogs to behave in specific ways under specific events.

Although, the way I see Dog Training is all about the Relationship between Humans and Dogs.

I truly believe that Humans and Dogs must have a deep Relationship to share and enjoy life together.

I also truly believe that many behavioural problems we see in Dogs are originated by unstable, unsafe or mistrustful Relationships that Dogs have with their Human family.

And in my perspective, proper improvements are not possible without a stable and positive Relationship in the first place.

By focusing on creating deep relationships between Humans and Dogs, we will “open all the doors” we need to solve the majority of behaviour problems we see in Dogs and at the same time improve the quality of life for both Dogs and Humans.

Thank you for reading,

Ricardo Ministro