The Importance Of An Owner Following Through
I think that nowadays when someone hears the word “rehabilitation” when it pertains to canines they automatically think of Caesar Milan. Because I am in the same line of work, I feel that much of the advice that he gives is “right on the money”.
Caesar sees the entire scenario for what it really is. He reads the canine, the owner and the environment. It is a lot to take in and analyze when you only have a 1-2 hour time span to organize and implement a new regimen and routine that best suites that particular family and dog’s needs. Most humans have a very hard time ‘swallowing’ the fact that their canine may have a behavior issue. Avoiding the stimulus that triggers their canine’s behavior problem is easier than addressing the problem at hand. It is not an easy task to modify an extremely aggressive or anxious/fearful canine. But it can be done with routine, repetition and most importantly…PATIENCE!!!!
When I rehab a canine for an owner obviously I have many questions and concerns. My top 2 concerns are and will always be:
- Are the owners going to follow through with the regimen and routine?
- Are the owners really willing to change their ways to benefit the dog?
I always tell my clients “this is a process and it takes time”. Unfortunately dogs are not computers. We cannot program them into what we want them to be. What we can do is acknowledge what they are about individually and work from there.
Being a Certified Canine Behavior Counselor is very different from being a dog trainer. A Behavior Counselor has completed coursework in animal learning processes, species ethology, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of normal and abnormal behavior, instructor and obedience training skills development, family companion animal counseling and clinical behavior internship in dog behavior and has discharged his/her responsibilities successfully having completed all of the program requirements. A dog trainer focuses on the physical aspect “sit, down, stay/wait and heeling” which is EXTREMELY important for safety and control.
Both the physical and psychological routes with canines do go “hand in hand”. You cannot have one without the other. The psychological is dealing with a canine’s emotional state and trying to “flip the mindset” as I call it for what they have learned and associated to be a negative experience (i.e. another dog, man, woman, child, place or car). The physical is having control over your canine’s actions despite their mindset in the moment. That can be a definite challenge.
A canine is a life long responsibility despite what you are dealing with. The most important piece of advice that I could give:
ROUTINE, REPETITION AND PATIENCE…
Certified Canine Behavior Counselor & Trainer