What is behavioral modification?

What is behavioral modification?  Exactly what it sounds like:  it is a training program that changes a dog's behavior and reactions.

How does behavioral modification work?

Behavioral modification training addresses specific behavioral issues that the client is having with their dog.  The key to behavior modification is to understand why behaviors occur, rather than applying a "one size fits all" approach.  When the underlying reason for the behavior is identified (such as fear, frustration, prey drive, confusion) is identified, a customized training plan can be created.  This plan typically includes behavior modification, teaching dogs appropriate alternative behaviors, counter-conditioning, desensitization, operant conditioning, and environmental management strategies.

Frustrating Dog Behaviors

  Humans are commonly perplexed and frustrated by dogs' behavior.  Why does a dog:

  • leap, lunge, growl at people, other dogs or other animals?

  • show aggressive behaviors while out on walks?

  • seem to dislike or misbehave around children?

  • guard objects, people or property?

  • show signs of fear in some circumstances (i.e., storms, fireworks)?

  • destroy or bite objects?

  • Separation anxiety

  • Fear of strangers

  • Etc.!



What to do?

Dogs are dogs and people are people:  behaviors that are natural in the dog world are not acceptable in the human world, and vice versa.  Behavioral modification can help to change and manage dogs' undesirable behaviors.  In this way we can set your dog up for success, rather than simply reacting to undesirable behaviors.