Direct and In-Direct

September 8, 2009

20081111164400_CaptureAs an animal behaviorist, I understand that there are  direct and indirect “causes” of behavioral problems. I also understand that there are direct and indirect “cures” for behavioral problems.

Direct and indirect causes of most behavioral issues:

1. Emotional hello’s and goodbye’s:  This one practice by the owner is a direct and indirect cause for many of a dog’s behavioral issues. I’ve posted a teaser blog; If you’d like the whole post, you’ll need to contact me.

2. Having no obedience on your dog: Without you or your dog having the knowledge to execute basic commands or solve problems, you are much more likely to have a dog with behavioral issues.

3. Allowing a young dog to sleep in your bed: This can in-directly cause behavioral issues like excessive chewing, digging, barking, etc. For the first year or 2  puppies or young dogs should have their own sleeping spot next to the bed. If after that, they dont have any behavioral issues, you can let sleep in the bed with you. Or not.

4. Bad timing: With dog training or behavior modification, timing is everything. By having -bad timing- can cause a dog to be confused and develop behavioral issues.

5. Using the wrong training methods or training equipment can indirectly cause behavioral issues.

Direct and indirect cures for behavioral issues:

1. Practicing no emotional hello’s and goodbye’s: Waiting  3-5 minutes before saying “Hi” to your dog is an effective way to help cure your dog’s behavioral issues. Not saying “hi” may sound mean but after you read my blog “Emotional hellos and goodbyes”, you may think differently. I will be posting that one soon.

2. Obedience training: Training has both a direct and indirect effect on curing a dogs behavioral issues. There’s nothing more to say. Every dog should understand at least 5 basic and 3 advanced commands, on and off leash, around distractions, with or without treats. If done correctly obedience training not only teaches a dog what to do, but it also teaches them and helps them learn what not to do.

3.  Sometimes doing the above won’t stop a dog’s behavior problem as some dogs need a more direct approach. With any behavioral issue the trick is to anticipate the behavior to happen or to re-create/ set-up the dog to repeat the bad behavior, BUT the trick is to counter-condition the behavior before it happens.

4. Timing is everything when changing a dog’s behavior. If you know how dogs think and learn, if you are quick to “mark” good behavior, ignore unwanted behavior, you can reverse behavior problems.

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