Canine Behaviour Consultations
There is a difference between dog obedience training and behaviour modification, although all behaviour modification involves an element of training as the dog needs to learn new behaviour patterns.
There are no standard qualifications for canine behaviourists and many of those claiming to be experts are nothing of the kind. Some franchisers claim to be able to turn you into a behaviourist after a 6-month course, oh and after paying them a lot of money for a manual and a shiny van.
There are many other bodies that award their own qualifications. Obviously, some of these organisations have a vested interest in you passing their course or they wouldn’t have many members. I have lost count of the number of individuals who claim they used to train Police/Guide/Guinea pig rescue (delete as applicable) dogs.
Don’t be afraid to ask about a person, qualifications and experience, then go and verify what they claim to possess. You are investing a lot of money and the welfare of your dog to this person, be certain you make the correct decision.
For my part, I hold a Foundation Degree in Canine Behaviour & Training by Hull University, coupled with 34 years of experience as a Service Police and Military Working Dog (MWD) training in the Armed Forces. You will note that my qualifications and experience is all aimed at dogs, for other species I recommend you seek out an expert in their own field.
I am a canine practitioner with the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association. In order to gain membership practitioners must be academically qualified to a very high level and have extensive practical training experience.
As a CFBA practitioner, my expertise is recognised by all the UK’s leading Insurance companies and my fees can be recovered on your pet insurance.
How I Conduct Behaviour Modification- A Lifelong Fix, Not Short Term Tricks
For dogs with behavioural problems, the starting point is invariably a home visit to see the dog in its natural environment. This is where the dog generally displays the problem behaviour and therefore is the most appropriate place to see it displayed in all its glory.
I cannot assess problem behaviour over the telephone or in an artificial environment. Others may claim to be able to do it, but I can’t, so I don’t make misleading claims.
The initial consultation will generally take between two and two and a half hours during this time the dog is observed in the circumstances when it displays the problem behaviour. Wherever the problem manifests itself, that’s where the consultation takes place. It may be inconvenient but it is effective.
You, the owner are supplied with a full, detailed written report is supplied within seven days. This can be sent via the post or more commonly via e-mail. This report is written by me and is specific to you and your dog. It is not a generic printed leaflet. The report is supported by practical behaviour modification training sessions with you and your dog. I do not leave you to get on with it.
This report is the only starting point for the programme. It is essential that close contact is maintained between us, in order that the programme can be amended as progress occurs. The behaviour modification report is a living document which needs to be amended as we move forward with the dog.
For dogs with many kinds of aggression issues, the work following the consultation is carried out at Cosford Dog Training, in a safe environment, with trained staff and trained dogs to assist in achieving the desired outcome in a completely safe manner. You will only work in public areas when sufficient progress has been made. You are not left to your own devices but are supported you throughout. I believe that we are the only establishment offering this level of service and facilities in the Midlands.
Behaviour modification takes time and effort. Unless you have both to put into your dog I cannot help you. A programme typically lasts at least 3 months. If you contact a “trainer” who claims he can fix your dog’s behavioural issues quickly, as many do, listen very carefully; that jingling sound you can hear are their spurs, as commonly worn by cowboys!
You might be interested in the photo below. This shows Mara 2nd from the right performing a 10-minute stay in the company of about 10 unknown dogs. Mara was a rescue dog from Ireland and had the serious dog to dog aggression issues, chased traffic and barked incessantly. Her success is due to the hard work put in by her new owners with support and guidance from my behaviour modification programme and training classes. Marta finished in second place in the trial. (Not bad eh?)