Fact: The #1 reason why dogs go to shelters is behavioral problems. According to a survey by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 96% of dogs were relinquished to shelters due to lack of training and behavioral problems. My job is to prevent things like this from happening. Behavioral problems are the reason why we have an increase of dogs in the shelter today - not the misconception of over breeding due not spaying/neutering your animal. This has always been saddening, and is why I am an advocate of training your dog, especially if he/she has behavioral issues. Because of this, I offer specialized training for aggressive or shy dogs, or any other behavioral problems you may be facing.
How To Begin
Every new client will receive a lengthy consultation (sometimes up to 2 hours depending on the needs of your situation, but usually it's a one hour consult) so I can perform a behavioral assessment, and establish a modification/management plan. This costs $50. The length of the consultation has no factor on price. So, during our consultation, ask questions! I want to know what your concerns are, and I want to help as best as I can. I also want to know as much information as possible about you and your dog, so please don’t hold back anything. By the end of the consultation, I will give you my plan of how I’d like to start training your dog, and if we are both are on the same page, we will start as soon as you would like.
First of all, many people do not know what the difference between what a reactive dog and an aggressive dog is. In brief, a description of a typical "reactive" dog would be one that barks at other dogs on walks or in the house. This dog may also pull and/or lunge to get to another dog on a walk. The dog may be barking hysterically, but when that finally dog meets the other dog, they might become stiff, uncomfortable, or stressed, but not bite. However, through a very prolonged interaction, they may end up "reacting" and biting or nipping the other dog (or person). That may sound pretty intense; however, even though that dog may nip after a long interaction, I typically wouldn't consider that dog "aggressive" - it's a reactive dog.
An aggressive dog is very clear cut and dry. You'll know what an aggressive dog looks like. That dog is actively searching, is on alert, and on guard to find dogs, or people on walks. When they see a dog or person, they'll want to approach to hurt, attack, or kill. That dog is always stressed on walks, whines for "no apparent reason," and almost seems never calm. The difference between the two should be very obvious.
If you think your dog is "reactive" or "aggressive" we can definitely work on it through private sessions. I have years of modification under my belt and am well equipped to handling these kinds of dogs. During our initial consultation, I will tell you my recommendation of what I think is best for your situation.
Training Methods For Reactive Dogs
I am very much a positive reinforcement trainer through use of treats, clickers, toys, and positive associations and interactions, and try to keep all forms of training this way. However, I do consider myself as a balanced trainer, and in very severe cases where a dog has actually bitten dogs or people, and pure positive reinforcement, counter-conditioning and desensitization are not working, I will resort to low level E-collar conditioning as a last ditch effort to help the dog.
As a Certified Behavioral Consultant through the CCPDT, I abide by, and agree with their statement of E-collar usage.
"The CCPDT believes that the administration of an electric stimulus during training should only be used after all other training options have been considered and rejected. A CCPDT certificant should never authorize or employ the use of electric stimulation as an initial training option. We strongly believe that the use of an electronic collar should be the last form of training considered before its use."
To sum it up, I will only resort to E-collar conditioning when positive techniques fail. There are so many people against E-collar conditioning, and it's a shame because theres so much misconception of how it actually works. But when used properly, paired with positive reinforcement, and when the life of a dog is on the line, it's always worth trying. The sad truth is, most pure positive trainers will NOT take aggressive dogs. The most common response you'll get is "you need to see a behaviorist." Additionally, many veterinarians or trainers might suggest euthanasia due to that dog being a bite risk to the community. Myself, on the other hand, will take these dogs for training, and if vibration collars or E-collar training can help the dog, and can it mean saving the dogs life... that's very worth it to me. That's what this is all about anyways!
Cost of Training
3 Lesson Training Package: $350
Additional Lessons (after the first 3): $100 each
* Once you have completed 3 sessions with me, you get this rate for the remainder of your dogs life
I serve ALL of New Hampshire, and some parts of Massachusetts and Maine. I may charge a small fee for travel, even for the consultation, if the location is very far from my home.
If you would like to schedule a consultation please contact me here, or call/email me.