Rusty, Resource Guarding – Building Trust around Food

Short clip of my previous session with Rusty.

I posted about Rusty already, but if you have not seen it, here is an intro.

Rusty was showing aggressive behaviours towards family members when he was eating his meals.

He would use his body to block any approaches, eat faster if somebody would be in the same division and in some instances he did growl and snap.

We have been working together for a couple of weeks now and all is going well.

He is now eating much slower when his mom is in the same division, she can move around confidently without worry about him, and their relationship as improved during the process.

Although, when a dog is showing resource guarding/aggressive behaviours around food, toys, or other items, the behaviour modification protocol has to be applied by every person in the house.

Just like we Humans… Just because we trust one person, does not mean we trust everybody.

There is a process, for each person we meet.

Same with Dogs, same with Rusty.

Here is a short clip of one stage of the protocol which is being implemented by rusty’s dad at the moment.

From here, we will move to the next stages of the process until Rusty will be as relaxed with dad as he is with mom at the moment.

Please be aware, this is ONLY one part of the process, and should not be used as the “solution” for one of your dogs.

Ps. If this video was helpful in any way, please Like and drop a simple Comment. Your feedback is massively important for me and will help me create more content in the future, and decide on which topics within dog behaviour and training.

Thanks a lot!

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro


Dora, Reactive Behaviour – Developing Social Behaviours

Yesterday I had another session with Dora the French Bulldog.

I started working with Dora a couple of months ago to improve her reactive behaviour around other dogs.

She used to bark and lunge when she would see them at a good distance from her and would become quite stressed because of them.

Over this few months, we worked on improving her daily routine with specific activities, lead handing skills, reinforcement of more appropriate behaviours at a distance and avoiding encounters during this stage of the process.

Yesterday, for the first time in our sessions, we started to introduce social encounters and I could not be more happy with the results.

In one hour, we probably saw and met about 8 dogs, repeating interactions with some of them and Dora was able to interact with, move away and avoid certain dogs by her own choice.

She did react at one dog at the beginning of the session, but soon she was able to regulate herself with the help of her humans who made use of appropriate body movements and lead handling skills.

In this video, you can watch Dora walking by another 2 dogs, and managing the situation like a lady.

No barks, no lunges, no pressure, simply passing by without any issue.

Now it only takes practice, so that Dora will be able to develop her social skills further.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Balancing Stones

Balancing Stones and Behaviour Modification.

Balancing Stones is not an easy task.

It is not an easy task because you are trying to manipulate the environment in a way which changes the most probable outcome.

Gravity exists, I think we can all agree on that.

With that in mind, the most natural outcome when you place a stone on top of the other, is that one or both will fall.

And that will probably happen over and over again, because that is the most natural course.

Although, it is completely possible to successfully build towers of stones, with different shapes, sizes and weights even though it is somehow impossible for many to believe.

Balancing stones is not an easy task, but it is possible if you find the right place to place the first stone.

It is possible if you find the second stone with the right shape, size and weight and then place it on top of the first stone, in the right point where it will be stable so you can place a third stone later on, and so on.

Each stone needs to be the ideal stone, and each ideal stone needs to be placed in the ideal point where it will not only support itself but also support another stone on top of it.

This “is” behaviour modification.

Behaviour modification is not an easy task.

It it is not an easy task because we need to control the environment to avoid the most natural outcome, and open a new route for a different one.

It is not an easy task because we will need to find the right place to create or allow new and more desired behaviours to happen, even though they are not the most probable outcome, at least in the first stages.

Although, just like balancing stones, it can be done successfully if we are able to find the right environment to do it, and apply each step correctly so that it allow us to move to the next one, and the next one, and the next one… until our final goal.

Needless to say, when balancing stones or during behaviour modification protocols, the focus is not on the final goal, but on each step of the way.

Focusing only on the goal will cause Instability, and that will sooner or later ruin everything, be that a tower of stones or a behaviour modification protocol.

So, no matter what is the goal, make sure to find the best environment you can, search for that ideal “stone”, and focus on each step along the way… that is how “impossible things” become Possible.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Nero, Resource Guarding – Building Foundations for Exchange

A short video of last week’s session with Nero.

Nero is showing resource guarding (Aggressive Behaviour) around food items and also places like sofas.

We have implemented a strict management plan to avoid any further episodes and started to work on the issues right away.

We are implementing different exercises to solve the issues and in the video below you can watch one of them.

The exercise shown is the foundation for exchanges that will be used in the future to ask Nero to drop anything he might be holding.

Here we are using “Can I?” and there is a reason for it.

“Drop it” and “Leave it” was already used with Nero in the past in different occasions, and to avoid confusion and past associations we simply picked a completely new sound to develop this skill.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Perfect Dogs

Perfect Dogs.

There are no perfect dogs, in the real sense of word.

There are no dogs which will not cause any problem, or make you upset about anything.

There are no dogs which will not need to improve in any way.

There are no dogs which will not require extra time and effort from your already challenging life.

If that is the kind of Dog you are looking for, then stop.

Stop, not only for yourself, but also for the “perfect dog” you think you might find and later on realize you did not, and proceed to give him for adoption.

Dogs are like any other valuable thing in life.

They require time, energy, and effort.

And they will never be perfect.

But hopefully, you will be lucky enough to find their worth, and understand how much better life can be with them.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro