Replace Bad Habit With Good Habit

Anything repeated often enough can become a habit. I totally fell in love with scruffy ten-month-old Jack Russell mix Max yesterday. I had the perfect evening with him and his humans. It began with just me and the daughter who is in her late teens. Then mum arrived followed by two male school friends Read more…

Consequences Drive Behaviour. Teaching Unwanted Behaviour

Consequences drive behaviour.

consequences drive behaviourUnwittingly the young couple have made a rod for their own backs.

They are first time dog owners and hadn’t realised that something only needs to be reinforced just the once to create a behaviour. If the dog barks in the night – that ‘come and talk to me’ bark …and if they go to her just once …she will very likely do the same thing the next night!

Now Freya has them up shortly after 5 am each morning. One of them comes down, maybe lets her out, gives her something nice to chew while they lie on the sofa trying to get a bit more sleep. If it’s a bit later she may immediately get a walk.

What very rewarding consequences for barking at 5 am!

Behaviours harder to undo than to create

It takes a lot more work to undo a behaviour that has been reinforced by enjoyable consequences than it does to cause it in the first place. (more…)

Family Dog, Consistency is Key

The importance of consistency. I sat with the family – parents with late-teens son and daughter – and their dear little Tibetan Terrier, Archie. My first question was, as always, ‘What would you like to achieve from my help?’  The answer was for Archie to be more relaxed around other dogs Read more…

Puppies’ Fear of Other Dogs

I have had a lovely visit with five-month-old Shih Tzu female litter-mates Hattie and PJ and their delightful family, starting my ‘puppy parenting’ with them. This initial visit is to make sure the basics are in place, plan the way forward and pre-empt potential future problems. Potential problems with littermates are well documented but not inevitable. These Read more…

The Value of Food Reward

The smallest food reward is of value and an incentive to any of my own dogs, but not to the dear little Bichon Maltese mix I went to yesterday. Two-year-old Doug lives with an elderly Bichon, Alfie, and it would be safe to say that food has virtually no value to Read more…

Walking the Dogs is Not Fun

They are not enjoying their two lovely dogs as they should. Marley is a three-year-old Rottie German Shepherd cross, a beautiful dog. He’s a little on the nervous side with new people, but particularly uneasy on walks where he is reactive to other dogs (he’s always on lead) and scared Read more…