Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.

Dog Training Today with Will Bangura: #137 Transforming Dog Behavior: Techniques and Tips

December 09, 2023 Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of Season 4 Episode 137
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura: #137 Transforming Dog Behavior: Techniques and Tips
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
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Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura: #137 Transforming Dog Behavior: Techniques and Tips
Dec 09, 2023 Season 4 Episode 137
Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of

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Are your dogs' energetic bouts and dog park escapades leaving you questioning their behavior? Are they bouncing off the walls at home and becoming overly anxious when left alone? From mysterious respiratory illnesses in dogs and reconsidering dog parks to cracking the code on canine body language, we're getting down to the nitty-gritty of dog behavior and training.

Ever wondered if your pooch's aggressive behavior is triggered by fear or anxiety? Let's unravel the truth together, examining a case of a Pomeranian Picanese mix. We'll discuss evidence-based techniques like gradual desensitization and counter conditioning, promising you a whole new perspective on managing aggressive behavior effectively and compassionately. Replace short-term band-aids with long-term solutions for a happier, healthier canine companion.

Hopping into the weekend, we'll share quick dog training techniques, tips, and tricks that can transform your dog's behavior. We urge you to join us in the next live dog training session and become a part of our growing community of dog lovers and trainers. Don't forget to hit that share button, recommend us to your fellow dog owners, and subscribe to our podcast for your weekly dose of canine wisdom and advice. Be a part of our journey, as we strive to understand our furry friends better and create a world that’s just as wonderful for them as they make it for us.

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Are your dogs' energetic bouts and dog park escapades leaving you questioning their behavior? Are they bouncing off the walls at home and becoming overly anxious when left alone? From mysterious respiratory illnesses in dogs and reconsidering dog parks to cracking the code on canine body language, we're getting down to the nitty-gritty of dog behavior and training.

Ever wondered if your pooch's aggressive behavior is triggered by fear or anxiety? Let's unravel the truth together, examining a case of a Pomeranian Picanese mix. We'll discuss evidence-based techniques like gradual desensitization and counter conditioning, promising you a whole new perspective on managing aggressive behavior effectively and compassionately. Replace short-term band-aids with long-term solutions for a happier, healthier canine companion.

Hopping into the weekend, we'll share quick dog training techniques, tips, and tricks that can transform your dog's behavior. We urge you to join us in the next live dog training session and become a part of our growing community of dog lovers and trainers. Don't forget to hit that share button, recommend us to your fellow dog owners, and subscribe to our podcast for your weekly dose of canine wisdom and advice. Be a part of our journey, as we strive to understand our furry friends better and create a world that’s just as wonderful for them as they make it for us.

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Speaker 1:

Raised by wolves with canine DNA and his blood. Having trained more than 24,000 vets, helping you and your fur babies thrive, live in studio with Will Bangura Answering your pet behavior and training questions. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host and favorite pet behavior expert, will Bangura.

Speaker 2:

Would you like to go on Walkies? Good day pet lovers. Hey, thanks for joining me for another episode of dog training today. I'm Will Bangura, your canine behaviorist. Hey, if you're brand new to dog training today, let me talk a little bit about how this works. In just a little bit I'm going to be taking your questions. That's right. If you've got a question about your dog's training, if you've got a question about your dog's behavior, do me a favor, go ahead and type those questions down below in the comment section. Let me know where you're watching from, where you're listening from, and also what kind of pets that you have. What are their names? Okay, hey, happy National Veterinary Medicine Day.

Speaker 2:

It's December 9th. That means it's National Veterinary Medicine Day. Did you know that? I didn't know that. I didn't know that until I looked it up just a little while ago, but want to give all of my heartfelt thanks, my admiration, my respect to all the veterinarians out there, all the veterinary behaviorists out there, all the vet techs, all the support staff that work in veterinary hospitals.

Speaker 2:

Where would we be without them, especially right now, right, with everything that's going on, with the mysterious respiratory illness that's going around? Yeah, we've got. I think there's about 14, over a dozen, at least 14, 15 states now where there have been dogs that have contracted this mysterious respiratory illness and it's taken them down In some cases. Not to get crazy here, not to start sounding an alarm, that's not warranted, but it is dangerous and dogs have died Now, granted, the vast majority that would contract this are going to be okay. They're going to be okay, but this is something new and other than being able to treat symptoms, to try to make the dogs feel more comfortable, as far as I know and I'm not a veterinarian, let me start. Let me just say that, get that out of the way. I'm not a veterinarian, I'm not giving out medical advice. Talk to your vet if you have questions about this mysterious canine respiratory illness. But I know there's a lot of people that are nervous about this because, as I was just going to say, as far as I know from everything that I've been reading so far, we really don't have any medications to really knock this out, to really treat this, other than treating symptoms. So this mystery illness, from what I understand like a cold, like the flu. It just has to run its course, but it's like having severe pneumonia in some cases, and so, you know, think about it. If you've got an older dog, or if you've got a dog that has a compromised immune system, for whatever reason, this is something that you've got to be concerned about.

Speaker 2:

You know, if I were the type of pet parent that like to take my dogs to the dog park, I would seriously be needing to reevaluate that right now, because even if I thought dog parks were a great idea and I don't I think they're a horrible idea. But even if I thought dog parks were a great idea, how do you know the health history? How do you know the vaccination status of the dogs that are in the dog park? Now, I know this was quite a while ago, but where I live in Arizona, the county that I live in, maricopa County, several years ago, when I was looking at some of these statistics, it showed that only about 60% of dogs in Maricopa County, arizona, where I live, had been vaccinated and were current on their vaccinations. That 40% either were never vaccinated or they weren't up to date, and that's a little scary. And I've said it many times before, before this mysterious respiratory illness that's going around with canines. I've said it before Dog parks are a breeding ground for disease and illness, not to mention the enormous risk of having your dog attacked or involved in a fight or your dog starting something.

Speaker 2:

If you're like a lot of people that have a dog that really isn't comfortable around other dogs, a dog that might be nervous, a dog that might not have the best confidence, a dog that might be kind of skittish, and a lot of pet parents think I've got to socialize my dog. I've got to socialize my dog. I've got to socialize my dog Because this mantra of canine socialization goes on here in the United States. It's so distorted Because everybody here in the United States thinks that canine socialization means you have to have a dog first of all. Heaven forbid if your dog doesn't get along with every single dog that's out there. Your dog has to be friendly with every dog. Your dog has to be able to go to the dog park. Your dog has to be able to go to doggy daycare, matter of fact, not has to. They're mandatory because I mean, what is a dog if a dog can't go to the dog park? What is a dog if the dog can't go to doggy daycare? That's the mentality here in the United States and people there's like dog shaming yeah, there's like dog shaming. That goes on.

Speaker 2:

You know, if you don't have a dog that goes to the dog park or gets along with every dog, you don't let everybody come up to your dog and pet your dog and meet and greet your dog, there's something wrong with you and they look at you weird. What's wrong with you? Well, I'd like to keep my dog safe. That's what's wrong with me, first and foremost. I can't tell you. I can't tell you the boon to the dog training business dog parks have been, you know, before dog parks. Before dog parks, business was very different than what it is today.

Speaker 2:

Before dog parks, first of all, one of the things you never heard was the word reactivity, and that could be a whole nother show. Reactivity could be a whole nother show, because I have my problem with the whole term reactive. Why are we sugarcoating aggression? I don't think it does us any justice. Listen, a reactive dog is an aggressive dog. It just hasn't gotten to the point where its teeth are on something.

Speaker 2:

At that point, you know, very few dogs go from zero to a hundred just like that. You know they're calm, cool, collected and boom, they're latched on to something. No, that's not the way it works. There is a series of progressive stress signals that dogs will display, some more than others, some quicker than others, but there is an entire series of stress signals that dogs will display and show that they're uncomfortable before they're going to bite. And let me tell you something any animal I don't care how stable you might think they are any dog, any animal can fight any animal. Any dog can bite if they feel threatened enough, if they feel that, hey, especially if they feel like they can't run, they can't get away right, fight or flight.

Speaker 2:

Well, if flight is not an option and we heard a lot of the term reactivity being used with dogs on leash, where dogs on leash would display, let me just say this, unruly behaviors. Let me just leave it there for a second they would display unruly behaviors, maybe barking, maybe lunging, and somehow this term. Well, the dog's just reactive because you know, he's reactive on leash, that's what we hear. He's reactive on leash, she's reactive on leash, but if you take them off leash, they're just fine. Well, there are certain reasons why sometimes that is the case, but it's not that black and white, because how many dogs on leash are not this quote, unquote reactive dog? How many dogs are on leash that don't display these so-called reactive behaviors. Many, many so even if I were to buy into this, let's separate reactivity from aggression when I think reactivity is just a progression on a scale or a ladder of aggression, and we can even talk about how this is a progression of anxiety, that this is a progression, that behaviors progress into different stages. When a dog starts to feel threatened, when a dog starts to feel stressed, when a dog starts to feel anxiety, when they feel there's a threat, they've got a couple options they can go into fight, flight or freeze.

Speaker 2:

Now, if you don't understand their canine body language really well, because wouldn't it be nice if we could just ask them hey, what are you thinking, what are you feeling? It'd be wonderful. Maybe with Elon Musk's neural link right, we can put those chips in the dog's head and hook that to AI. Wouldn't that be something? But we can't. We can't ask them hey, what are you thinking, what are you feeling? But they speak in their own special language and that's the language of canine body language and one of the best skills that you can have as a pet period. Definitely if you're a pet professional, if you're a dog trainer, if you're a behavior consultant, if you're a behaviorist, if you're a veterinarian, if you have an interest in behavior, one of the greatest skills that you can have is being very well-skilled in canine body language, because that is the way that dogs communicate, not only amongst themselves but to us. It's a sophisticated language that dogs have, these very unique and sometimes very subtle little covert.

Speaker 2:

What I say are sometimes ticks in their canine body language that are helping us to understand if we can interpret it, if we understand it what your dog is thinking, what your dog is feeling, what the other dog is thinking, what the other dog is feeling, and it is something that we can use to get a good understanding of what is this dog's whether it's your dog or another dog what is your dog's underlying emotional state, and we can begin to predict behaviors, because it's the underlying emotional state that is the driving force for behavior. I always get calls and I always get people wanting to talk to me about their dog's outward aggressive behavior and they want to go into great detail, and that's fine. We need to know that information. It's very important, first of all for management and safety. We need to know that. What is the dog capable of? What is history shown us? Right, we can predict based on history too, but it's so important to be able to understand canine body language so you can predict behavior to keep everybody safe.

Speaker 2:

Now I just did two. Yeah, I did part one and part two Just this. Last week I did two brand new audio podcasts. Do you subscribe to the audio podcast or do you just watch the Facebook live show every Saturday? Yeah, if you're not subscribed to the dog training today audio podcast, you definitely need to do that. You know I'm here usually every Saturday doing an hour show here on Facebook live. However, I may do three or at least two audio podcasts throughout the week, and I think I did two or three. So if you're not subscribed to the dog training today audio podcast, make sure you go to Apple podcast or go to Spotify or wherever you get or listen to your podcast and just do a search for dog training today with Will Bangura. The old name was Pet Talk Today. It'll still come up under Pet Talk Today and make sure that you subscribe and do us a favor. If you love what we do, if you love our audio podcast, please give us a five star review and please subscribe.

Speaker 2:

All right, yeah, getting back to the whole canine mystery respiratory illness. A lot of people are having to rethink right now going to the dog park. A lot of people are having to rethink, hey, should I continue to take my dog to doggy daycare? And here's what I wonder how many of the pet parents out there that bring their dogs to doggy daycare, how many? Is it a matter of not want to take them to doggy daycare, but must take them to doggy daycare? Now, what I mean by that is how many people out there and this can kind of go back, interestingly enough, because we're talking about this mystery canine respiratory illness and I'm going to go back to COVID a couple years ago, the start of COVID and the height of COVID how many people never dealt with a dog separation anxiety? How many people, how many of you, have dogs with separation anxiety and you never were able to. You either chose not to address it or deal with it, or you tried everything you could and you could not help your dog with its separation anxiety. And now you feel like you must take your dog to doggy daycare anytime you can't be there with your dog. I know there's a lot of people out there that this is the case. Yeah, no, a lot of people addressed it, but there's several that everywhere you look, there's people out there that don't want to deal with it. What are you going to do now if you can't take the dog to doggy daycare? What happens, you know? Hopefully this won't turn into something crazy like COVID was for us, but all of a sudden, doggy daycare starts shutting down and you can't take your dog to doggy daycare. What are you going to do?

Speaker 2:

How many of you are using the dog park as a way to try to run off excessive energy for a dog that's unruly, rather than deal with the behavior problems that you have with your dog? Now, don't get me wrong. Exercise is great. Dogs should have a lot of exercise. Now there's a lot of misinformation out there about what type of exercise is going to be the best thing for your dog, and I'll tell you if we're trying to tire your dog out, your dog's going to be more tired out doing 20 minutes of scent work using its nose versus running around for 20 minutes, because the largest part of the brain devoted to the nose is of a dog and that's 12.5% of their brain, 12.5% devoted to smelling. So, to really give the workout that's going to tire them out mentally. You get them using their nose. Now how about incorporating a fun routine with your dog that involves a lot of physical work but also a lot of nose work? Now you've got the best of both worlds.

Speaker 2:

So one of the things that some people are going to have to start to think about is if I'm going to keep my dog safe right now until I know more, until the veterinarians know more about this mysterious respiratory illness that canines are getting and dying of in 14, 15 different states. Until they know more, maybe it's a good idea, maybe it's a prudent idea to stay out of the dog parks. If nothing else, to stay out of the dog parks. Well, if you're depending on the dog park as your way of getting good behavior out of your dog when you're home and you're not going there now, what are you going to do Now? What are you going to do?

Speaker 2:

So the reason I even bring this up is I get a lot of folks that will talk a lot about exercise and I'll tell them listen, I need your dog to be well behaved. I need your dog to listen, whether it's exhausted or not. All right, listen, any dog that's exhausted is going to give us less problems, right, but can we exhaust our dogs 24-7? No, and a lot of us, a lot of people I mean, because I've been doing this a long time, 35 years, working with God knows how many people in their pets and everybody looks to exercise as it's going to be a behavioral cure. And here's one thing that you might not think about If you have an anxious dog, if you have a dog that tends to be anxious, if you've got a dog that tends to be oh, do I want to use the term reactive? If you have a dog that tends to be anxious, if you have a dog that tends to startle, if you have a dog that has fears, is reactive, which I say is just a lower level of aggression which is based in fear. There's this ladder, there's the progression of behaviors. It all starts in fear, but with these behaviors we've got that underlying emotional state.

Speaker 2:

Exercise what does it do? Increases the heart rate, increases respiration, increases blood pressure. There are different physiological aspects to exercising, right? Yeah, increased heart rate, increased respiration, increased blood pressure. Now, if you have anxiety, if you're prone to anxiety, if you're prone to be more fearful, what happens when you have anxiety. What happens when you have fear? Increased heart rate, increased respiration, increased blood pressure? The same physiological components or aspects to anxiety, fear and stress happen when you exercise. Now I'm not saying that you become fearful. I'm not talking about the emotional component. I'm talking about the physiological component. What happens in your body when you experience stress, anxiety and fear? The heart rate increases, the blood pressure increases and your respiration increases. Those things happen when you exercise.

Speaker 2:

So let's say that you've got a dog that has separation anxiety, because we're talking a little bit about that right now. So let's say that you've got a dog that has separation anxiety and one of the things that you think would be a good idea to help your dog who has separation anxiety would be to exercise your dog right before you leave. What are you doing? It's my contention that you are halfway throwing your dog into that separation anxiety, because you're mimicking and you're matching at least the physiology component of the anxiety by exercising the dog. Now, hear me out here, hear me out. I want you to exercise your dog Big time. Want you to exercise your dog. It's when you do it and where you do it and when it happens, as far as what's happening before, what's happening right after. So, for example, if my dog might be in an environment or a situation that might elicit some anxiety and I know that and I can't avoid it I can't not have that happen. I don't want to exacerbate the problem by exercising my dog, knowing that, in that moment at least, I'm mimicking the same physiological effects of anxiety, making it more likely for my dog to be thrown into that anxious, fearful, nervous state, and we don't think about that.

Speaker 2:

See, this is why science is important. You know, there's a lot of dog trainers out there that say science is not important in dog training. There are trainers out there that want to argue that all the science, all the studies that are out there are all BS, without giving a educated argument to support their position. Because if you were to just say, hey, would it be a good idea? Maybe because exercise is good, maybe it calms down an anxious dog, maybe we should exercise the dog before we leave, hun. What do you think, babe? Should we exercise the dogs before we go? Yeah, I think that might help calm them down. It seems logical. It seems logical Until you start to study it, until you break down all of the tiny little variables. This is why education is important. This is why science is important. This is why, if you're looking to hire a dog trainer, if you're looking to hire somebody to help you, especially if you've got a severe behavior problem, why you need to do your due diligence and really interview the person you're looking to hire and ask them some pointed questions.

Speaker 2:

What is your formal education? What is your formal education and animal behavior? What did that consist of? If they say I'm certified well, certified by who? Because the dog training industry is not regulated, somebody can call themselves a dog trainer. Literally. I could have a neighbor that has never owned a dog. They could open up a dog training school tomorrow and start churning out graduates of dog training school of their own dog training school saying I am a trainer of trainers. They know nothing about dogs, they've never owned a dog. Because there's no regulation. Not anybody can just be a plumber. It's regulated. You want to be a barber? Yeah, you've got to be certified. You have to have formal education. What about a mechanic? It doesn't matter where you go to mechanic school to be a certified mechanic. No matter where you go around the country to be a mechanic, to be certified, you're pretty much going to have the same formalized education. Everybody's in agreement what reality and the truth is, it's not that way in the dog training industry. Everybody has their own school of thought. Some are just interested in what's going to work for them. Others are more interested in animal welfare.

Speaker 2:

When it comes to dogs with anxiety, fears, phobias, aggression, reactivity yeah, I use that term, but I don't use it in a way that would minimize the fact that it's aggression Just on a scale that's lower on the ladder. The dog's not been provoked enough for it to be more at that moment. Now there are a lot of other reasons why dogs are quote unquote reactive on the leash than just saying some label reactivity. Part of why dogs are reactive on the leash is because of oppositional reflex and dogs that have not been conditioned to understand what leash pressure is. This is why education, this is why science is important. Looking at all of the different variables, how about the variable of the animal on the other end of the leash? Why is it that dogs react differently when different individuals walk them? There's a lot of different variables than to just say, oh, the dogs reactive.

Speaker 2:

I'm Will Bandgurra, if you're just joining us. This is dog training today. I'm a certified canine behaviorist and I'm here each and every Saturday from let's see it's 8 o'clock until 9 o'clock Pacific, that is, 11 o'clock till 12 noon Eastern time every Saturday. Also, you can check out my audio podcast at dog training today. You can go to Apple Podcast. You can go to Spotify any of the podcast hosting platforms to listen.

Speaker 2:

This week I put up two new podcasts, and part one and part two were on canine body language. I was talking about, if you were joining us earlier, the importance of canine body language in being able to predict behavior, especially if you've got a dog that's fearful or a dog that's anxious or a dog that's aggressive. And then we started talking about reactivity. It's understanding the canine body language as we get back to reactivity that lets you know where the underlying motivation is for that behavior. What's the dog's emotional state? Is this a dog that's just frustrated? Because many of these dogs simply are frustrated with oppositional reflex because of a little leash, and that means that they've just never been taught to walk well on a loose leash and they get frustrated A lot of times. That's all it is. But we've got dogs that don't do that, that have never been conditioned to the leash.

Speaker 2:

Why is that different? Well, it's all about temperament. It's all about different temperament of dog. It's about the fact that some dogs are going to have much better impulse control and some dogs are going to have a much higher tolerance for frustration than other dogs. And then there are certain breed specific traits, such as terriers or any other breed that would have a hunting breed, high prey drive breeds, some of your herding breeds, those breeds that are going to have more prey drive. They're going to have less impulse control in general. They're going to want to just react to everything that's moving quickly and they're going to have a lower tolerance for frustration. Then there's a lot of activity and stimulation going on around them, and so those are also things that we need to take into consideration when we start throwing around this term reactivity. How much of what the dog is doing is so normal, so natural, based on it just being a canine, based on its breed, based on its genetics. But we want to put all these labels on oh, the dog's reactive, maybe the dog's just being a dog.

Speaker 2:

It's kind of like everybody wanting to say that every unruly dog, every dog that's not behaving the way they want it to, is somehow a dominant, dominant dog. You know this whole idea of dominance that's been going around forever. That is misunderstood greatly. And, by the way, that doesn't mean that some dogs are not dominant, especially when you've got multiple dogs in a household. There's going to be hierarchy, there's going to be dominance, but it's going to be fluid and I'm not getting into that. It's a whole another, a whole another podcast.

Speaker 2:

Okay, all right, let's take a look and see if we have any questions here. Let's see Deborah. Deborah says wait, let me make sure I've got all of Deborah's question here before I start getting into it. All right, hey, hi, bonnie, yeah, bonnie, and Hope You're always here. Appreciate you being here, appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Dog shaming having a title bad dog. After five different attempted grooming visits ending in no groom bad dog, I finally found a wonderful groomer. I'm pretty sure the other groomers shared a bad dog list. Yeah, and you know what else? You know what else, bonnie? Are you familiar with the fact that there are such a thing as a fear free groomer? There are fear free certified groomers, there are fear free certified veterinarians and there are fear free certified trainers. And truly, if you're fear free, certified, you do not use force, you do not use aversives If somebody says they're fear free certified and they're a groomer. They specialize in dealing with grooming pets that have anxiety, that have fears, that are reactive, that are aggressive. They take a very different approach, a much gentler, much slower approach. Same thing with your fear free veterinary practice. Look, if you've got a dog and you struggle I mean really struggle with your vet visits, unless you absolutely love your vet, you might want to think about looking for a fear free certified veterinarian. Yeah, just go on to the Google machine, type in fear free certified veterinarian near me or put your zip code in. Or, if you're looking for a fear free certified groomer, put that in Google with your zip code. Or are you looking for a fear free certified trainer? Same thing. There's a directory and you can find that by doing a search on Google. But, yeah, that's a great point.

Speaker 2:

All right, deborah, I started saying I was going to answer your questions. Let's take a look. Let's see You've got a picanese pomeranian mix. It looks like the ankle biter. For the last four years that I know of, I've tried everything I can think of suggestions, please. He acts like the great lion hunter, on or off leash.

Speaker 2:

Well, deborah, it's my contention that anytime an animal acts out aggressively and we see that outward aggressive behavior, that really what is happening is internal anxiety and fear. No animal goes into fight or flight unless they perceive something is threatening. Now there might not be any real threat for your pomeranian picanese cross and you have a very reactive, very aggressive dog. You're seeing these outward displays of behavior. Now when you say you've tried everything, I don't know what that means.

Speaker 2:

What I will tell you is that a lot of trainers, a lot of what's taught, is that you need to punish the dog that does that. If you've got a dog that is reactive, you can't let them get away with it. If you've got a dog that is aggressive, you need to show them who's boss, you're being dominant and you need to correct that. You can't let them get away with that. And while again, that may seem very logical on the outside, especially because it's very emotional if you've got a dog doing that not just the dog's emotions but yours and everybody else's around it. But the fact of the matter is it's not so much what the dog's doing on the outside, it's what is motivating that behavior on the inside of the dog. Again, no animal goes into fight or flight unless they perceive something as threatening. So the real work where change happens real change, not temporary, not superficial but where real change happens is on the emotional level.

Speaker 2:

If you change your dogs underlying emotional state, how your dog feels about the things, the triggers that are causing this outward behavior, if your dog's anxiety and its perception that there is a threat goes away, there's no need for that behavior. See, you need to think about all behavior has a function and this behavior is trying to communicate to a perceived threat. I need space, I need distance. Go away, go away. We can begin to help your dog only when we first start by not putting your dog back in a situation where we're setting your dog up for failure. Knowing that there is a specific circumference of comfort that your dog has, that when another person or another dog, whatever the trigger might be, when they come within a certain distance of your dog, it triggers your dog's behavior. Knowing what that is and knowing that this happens all the time the first step not that it's the fix, but it's the first step to the fix the first step is we need to avoid the trigger. We can't have your dog continue to rehearse that behavior over and over and over, making it more and more conditioned and ingrained. That's going to stop. When we can stop that? Not by correcting or punishing the dog, because all that's going to do oh yeah, maybe somebody says, oh, you need to go.

Speaker 2:

You know what we use. This guy, he's an E-collar trainer. He worked wonders for our dog that was reactive. Or this other trainer he uses a prong collar. What's an E-collar? A shock collar, an electronic collar? Listen, when you use those tools, when you punish so-called reactive or aggressive behavior, you are getting rid of the warning inadvertently.

Speaker 2:

You are going to train a dog to just be a biter that never warms because it'll be too afraid to lunch, too afraid to growl, too afraid to show its teeth because you're yelling. No, you're correcting your dog with your E-collars, your prong collars, with your shaker cans, your bonkers. You're compressed there. You are never going to fix the problem that way. That's all smoke and mirrors. That actually is going to add more anxiety and stress to your dog. That actually is going to make the underlying emotional state which is the motivating, causative factor of that behavior. You don't like to be worse, because if the underlying root cause is the emotional state of anxiety, fear and stress and we add to that it just makes sense that the behavior is going to get worse. But temporarily, temporarily, oh, you can suppress that behavior because your dog wants to avoid the discomfort of whatever this correction is whether it's your electronic collar, your prong collar, your yelling your dog wants to avoid that pain, fear and intimidation. So temporarily it stops acting out that outward behavior. But you've done nothing to change your dog's emotional state and its perception and the association it has emotionally with that trigger. And until you do that, until that's done, everything is smoke and mirrors. You have a temporary, quick fix that in the long run gets worse because the pressure builds and builds and builds inside the dog and eventually that dog that was afraid to act out now snaps and it's much worse.

Speaker 2:

Real change. Real change happens gradually, it happens systematically. Real change happens when you follow evidence-based and science-based positive behavior modification solutions that are time-tested and true. And two of those techniques are gradual and systematic desensitization and counter conditioning. And in order for those to work you have to begin to pair exposing your dog to the triggers, but, but, but, but. But you must do that at a safe distance that's far enough away. There's enough distance between your dog and the trigger that your dog knows that the trigger is there, but does not have the anxiety, does not have the fear, does not have the stress. Your dog doesn't have a care in the world. There's a distance, trust me. There is a distance that you could create if you set it up on your own.

Speaker 2:

If you've got a dog that is reactive, aggressive, afraid of dogs, reactive, aggressive, afraid of people, and you say every time it happens, no, every time it happens when they're within a certain distance, when there's far enough distance, it doesn't happen. Why? Because the more distance there is, the less scary it is. Now we need to present that trigger at a distance to your dog, where your dog is not afraid, where your dog sees it but doesn't have a care in the world. And at the exact same time that your dog sees that trigger, we need to be feeding high value food, rewards, treats. We need to be positively reinforcing with the greatest, the best food, the thing that your dog loves the most. And if you tell me, oh, my dog won't take the food, he's too nervous, again, you're too close. It'll never get better if your dog keeps experiencing that fear.

Speaker 2:

This is where you have to intervene. This is where, in the beginning, you have to make changes to the environment. This is where you have to employ management strategies where, hey, if I got to go for a walk and I've got a dog that is aggressive towards dogs and or people, I have to go outside first, make sure there are no dogs and people around and I have to walk my dog at crazy hours of the night or morning perhaps, to avoid all dogs and people. No, not forever. Temporarily, temporarily until you do the work, until you do the counter conditioning and the desensitization. I talk about counter conditioning and desensitization all the time.

Speaker 2:

Go to my website because, listen, if you've got a dog like this, you need to know this information. Go to my website at dogbehavioristcom Dog behaviorist. Where is it? That's it, dog behaviorist? Right in the middle, dogbehavioristcom. Go to the menu. Go to where it says articles. Click on the articles. Go find the article on counter conditioning and desensitization. Read through that article, step by step instructions on how you help a dog change its underlying emotional state so that it's no longer viewing a trigger as a threat, so that it no longer is having anxiety, fear, stress and therefore doesn't feel the need to be aggressive. And we begin to pair that trigger, that scary thing, with something wonderful high value food rewards over and over and over, until your dog begins to associate hey, that scary thing isn't scary, that's the thing that brings all the good stuff, that's the thing that brings the great food rewards.

Speaker 2:

Now, there's a lot of steps involved in this. There's a lot, a lot more than just a little bit that I've talked about. The beautiful thing is, if you do subscribe to the Dog Training Today audio podcast, if you do go to the Dog Training Today audio podcast, you can go to episode 81. Episode 81 of the Dog Training Today podcast is an hour and a half longer, an hour long podcast just on counter conditioning and desensitization, telling you exactly how to use those evidence-based, science-based, time-tested and true behavior modification techniques in order to make some real, lasting, permanent change. And real, lasting and permanent change takes work. Now, it's not something that takes forever, but it takes weeks. It can take months in order for things to be better.

Speaker 2:

Very, very, very important that you not rush the process. Every dog is going to progress, you know, at their own pace, and you can't rush that process as you're starting to go through the process of counter conditioning and desensitization, getting your dog comfortable to triggers. You have to go very gradually and very slowly, closing that distance If, at any point in time, as you're getting closer, your dog starts to have anxiety, especially if the dog starts to react like you were talking about going crazy again, aggressively flipping out. Yeah, you've gone way too close. There are over 80 articles on my website. If you go to dogbehavioristcom and you go to the menu and you go to articles and you then scroll through those articles, a couple other articles that you really want to focus on canine body language and if you go to the canine body language guide, that I have listed there at the bottom is part one of the canine body language podcast. I did this last week. That's embedded in that article. I've got the part two of the canine body language podcast up on the audio podcast but I don't have it embedded yet in that article.

Speaker 2:

Another article that is something critical in order to be able to have success doing this is understanding thresholds. Okay, and there's another article on the website that talks about thresholds and I'm talking about basically your dog's emotional threshold, what your dog can handle, and not putting your dog in a situation where you're trying to help your dog be calm and relaxed and not be aggressive by having a dog over threshold, where they're reactive. See, that's old school. Old school is okay. Let your dog just throw your dog in the pool, so to speak. Let your dog be reactive and I'll correct the hell out of the dog. You know that's what the dog daddy does. He uses flooding All right. He provokes the problem Big time, gets the dog flipping out.

Speaker 2:

Then he starts hanging the dog with the leash Big time corrections. Rabbiting them by their flanks, holding them up, hanging them by the leash, cutting off their oxygen, their air supply. And people are mesmerized. They think it's magic. Oh my God, within two, three minutes this dog's not wanting to bite him anymore.

Speaker 2:

If there are little kids out there, put your hands over their ears. The only reason those dogs are not aggressive is because they're scared, shitless. And if you watch some of the video, you're going to actually see some of these dogs lose their bowels. They're so scared, shitless. Look, anybody, anybody can be barbaric. Anybody can use fear, pain, intimidation to make a dog submit. But it's temporary, temporary, temporary If you don't change the underlying emotional state. All you're doing is suppressing the outward behavior, any behaviors that are rooted in anxiety, fear, stress.

Speaker 2:

These are things that we know because of science. These are things that we know because of research and that's why making sure that when you hire a professional to help you with your pet, that you know that they've got a solid formal education. They just went to some fly by night workshops or a three week intensive with some other trainer who's never been certified. There are all kinds of trainers out there training trainers, and none of them are certified. None of them have formal education. And I'm not saying that they're bad people and I'm not saying that there are all bad trainers. There's plenty of good trainers out there. But you got to be careful. It's an unregulated industry. You got to be careful with who you hire. You never know what you're going to be getting All right.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's it. That was a quick hour. That was a quick dog training. Today. We covered a lot of different topics. Do me a favor Hit that share button, hit that like button. Make sure that you join us next Saturday. I'll be back here alive for another dog training today. Have a great weekend, everybody. I'm out of here.

Canine Behavior and Training Questions
Canine Body Language and Doggy Daycare
Dog Park Dilemma and Exercise Implications
Addressing Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
Quick Dog Training