Here is Part 2 following on from yesterdays “Is your dog a Desperate Dog”
What can I expect if I want to book my dog in for rehabilitation with you?
We may want you first to visit a vet of our choosing, because we work very closely with an excellent veterinary practice that specialize in gait analysis and musculo skeletal disorders. Many a dog has been diagnosed as aggressive or fearful when in fact she is suffering from arthritis or a painful undiagnosed injury and is merely telling others to keep away from her. A lot of times we can see this when you bring your dog for a visit, in which case, we’ll ask you to visit the vet, get the problem sorted out, and then bring her back if it doesn’t dissipate with treatment.
Behaviourism looks at every aspect of the dog’s life from his bodily health and diet to his level of exercise, the dictates of his breed needs, to how effective you as parents are at being, well….parents!
We may implement dietary changes, supplementation, exercises to reroute neural pathways and also work with you on training to enable the dog to live within comfortable and manageable boundaries at home after he leaves us. We show you how to have a balanced happy dog who enjoys life to the full, as dogs should.
There is no magic wand to stop a dog from being aggressive. It takes patience, consistency, understanding and risk management at all times. It needs to be understood that dogs, like humans, are super reactive to their environment and people and things within it…….If an alien came through my door tomorrow I cannot tell you how I would behave as it is not within my realm of understanding, I may embrace him or I may die of shock!
We can use known triggers that you tell us about and introduce some common ones too in the rehabilitation of your dog, but the most important thing that we can do here is to teach him or her how to trust in the leadership of his humans. We will teach him that whatever happens, he can trust us to make decisions that benefit him, so that he doesnt have to react other than to follow our lead.
We then teach you how to behave as a cool, calm confident leader of your dogs, how to have the presence and bearing of a being your dog can look up to as the chief decision maker, so he doesnt feel he has to do the job himself. This is pivotal to the whole process and does not happen overnight, so we visit you at home to go through these things before your dog comes back to you.
It is from time to time difficult to maintain at home; life throws curve balls that get us all out of whack and lower our ability to act as calm, confident, benevolent and cool leaders. It happens to the best of us, and no one is exempt from this.
For these situations, risk management and environmental management are key players; when we come to your home at the end of your dog’s stay with us, we will assess your environment and work out a plan with you that gives you a plan of action in case life throws you a curve ball.
It takes a village to raise a child, and with dogs, it takes a team to rehabilitate. You are just as much, if not more, a part of the team than we are. Your understanding of what we are doing and how we are working together is pivotal to the success of any plan, so we want constant communication from you and with you to ensure ongoing success.
Lastly, expectations need to be reasonable. Please dont expect to bring a border collie in for help and not have him want to herd you, we can manage his herding instincts but hes a herding dog and needs to be worked as such. Dont expect your weimaraner to be content with no exercise and a ball thrown in the back yard every now and again….breed is everything in this field of rehab and we need you to understand and apprecaite what you have so that both of you can live happy fruitful lives.