there are numerous reasons and uses for behavior modification in dogs, behavior modification can help stop problem behaviors and turn them into appropriate ones!
What Is Behavior Modification In Dogs?
Behavior modification in dogs is the act or process of altering a behavior in a dog.
How Does Behavior Modification In Dogs Occur?
At Awoken K9 The process of altering the behavior of a dog occurs is a 3 step process 1. learning, 2. comprehending, 3. trusting.
The beginning of behavior modification in dogs starts with creating a clear line of communication between you and your dog.
The learning phase is where we begin teaching your dog a new way of life.
In the beginning, you may notice that your dog may be a little uncomfortable because of the change in routine.
You have to be considerate to your dog especially if your dog has built bad habits and is accustomed to doing what he wants.
We start behavior modification in dogs by creating a clear line of communication so that we can bridge the gap between human and dog.
Once we teach your dog our communication system we then use it to effectively communicate with your dog what your dog is doing right, wrong, and what you want your dog to continue doing.
Once your dog understands our communication system we then use our communication system to teach your dog new behaviors.
Our communication system is essential because we then use our communication system to give your dog feedback on the performance of his behaviors.
Many times owners struggle with there dogs simply because they aren’t able to bridge the gap between dogs and humans to effectively communicate with there dogs what they want!
Blocking Unwanted Behaviors
The next step of behavior modification is blocking unwanted behaviors, you cant expect your dog to change his behavior if your dog is still rehearsing and practicing the behavior you don’t want.
Contrary to what many believe dogs don’t “grow out of a problem” the reality is behavior problem gets worse over time not better!
The more your dog practices a behavior the more it becomes a habit, so its best to monitor and manage your dog’s activity so that the problem doesn’t get worst.
Some problems might be harder to prevent than others depending on how long your dog has been practicing unwanted behavior.
Setting Your Dog Up To Succeed
At this point in the behavior modification process, we have taught your dog the fundamental communication system, are actively blocking your dog from practicing unwanted behaviors, now we are ready to set your pup up to succeed.
Ultimately we want your dog to win at making the right decisions to do this you want to do a couple of things.
first, you want to ensure that you start slow in a distraction-free environment and gradually work your way up to more difficult distractions.
second, you want to put yourself in a position to help your dog not make the wrong decision while continuously guiding your pup to make the right one.
The reason this is so important is that you want to reward your dog’s success not just prevent and punish his mishaps
In this phase of our behavior modification process, your dog is getting accustomed to the new rules in place and understanding to grasp what makes a good decision over the wrong one.
Consistency goes a long way when it comes to behavior modification in dogs.
For instance, if you have done everything correctly until now and then you suddenly stop blocking bad behaviors, stop rewarding your dog for making the right decision, and let your dog get away with certain behaviors even if it’s just once.
Your dog will soon learn he can get away with certain things and begin to “test” you to see what he can and cannot get away with.
This is where consistency comes in you want to ensure that your dog fully understands that no matter what happens these are the new rules in place.
Your Dogs Pace
In the Comprehension phase, you want to ensure that your going at your dog’s pace and not presenting your dog with challenges he’s not ready for.
you to be considerate at what speed to begin to present your dog with harder challenges, you want to ensure your dog fully understands the last concept before moving on to the next challenge!
Dogs are what we call situational learners meaning that dogs don’t generalize very well.
For instance, if you taught your dog to “sit” in the context of your living room that doesn’t mean your dog fully understands that “sit” means “sit” if your outside at the park, around other dogs or people.
You have to show and help your dog understand that sit means sit if your inside, outside, surrounded by dogs.
Generalizing is simply teaching your dog that a behavior such as “sit” means the same thing in a variety of different scenarios.
The last phase trusting is about teaching your dog to trust you and accepting everything we have put into place.
If you have done everything correctly until now you should have a dog who is enthusiastic to take direction from you.
Your dog learns to accept and trust that paying attention to you is in his best interest because you have created a relationship based on structure and consistency so your dog understands what expect with you.
Aside from structure and consistency your dog sees you as relevant because you are a source of fun positivity and fairness.
Our behavior modification process is effective because we teach your dog how to make better choices, we help your dog comprehend what is and isn’t acceptable and we teach your dogs to trust you and accept everything that we put into place because you are relevant in the eyes of your dog!
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!