Behavioural Consultations

There is often confusion about what constitutes a training issue and what is a behavioural problem. A dog who struggles to complete all 12 weave polls in an agility class obviously needs more training where as a dog who howls and destroys the house when her owners leaves have a dog with a behavioural problem. In these examples, the difference is clear, but in many cases this isn’t necessarily so.

While there are many views as to where the line should be drawn, at Gwent Dog Training the test is quite simple. If the dog is doing something that is causing or may potentially cause injury to itself, other dogs or humans; or if the dog is showing clear signs of distress,  the dog as a behavioural issue which needs addressing.

Many dogs engage in behaviour that annoys his humans, but is normal for behaviour for his breed.  For instance Jack Russell terriers like to dig holes in the garden. Springer spaniels like to  disappear into the undergrowth to ‘flush’ birds (and go temporarily deaf while doing so). The ability to perform these behaviours are what the dog’s ancestors have been selected to. These dogs do not have behavioural issues, they have training needs. And the training can be designed to incorporate the dog’s favourite hobby in a controlled way as part of its reward system.

If you are not sure whether your dog has a training or a behavioural issue, no problem, just get in touch using the form below and we can sort out the best way forward.

N.B. If your dog’s behaviour has suddenly changed (ie a normally peaceful dog has suddenly started showing aggressive behaviours to humans or other dogs) it is vital to have the dog checked over by the vet. It is possible that the dog has developed physical pain which has caused the behaviour change. Trying to address the behaviour issue without first ensuring the dog is physically well will not work and may even make things worse.

Behavioural packages

It should be understood that nearly all behavioural problems can be managed and improved. However, it may often take considerable work on the behalf of the owner to affect the change.

The behavioural process at Gwent Dog Training is as follows.

  • After booking a package we begin with a telephone/Skype/Facetime call. During this time we will document the dog’s history, its health and its presenting problem.  This call will usually take an hour, possibly more.
  • Based on the call, I will draft a behavioural plan with immediate ‘control and management’ measures to be put in place. I aim to deliver this to you – with a copy sent to your vet – within 72 hours.
  • Next we meet to begin implementing the plan. I will make sure you fully understand the the plan and how to implement it. This meeting normally lasts around 2 hours.
  • Around a week later, we will have another telephone/Skype meeting to check on progress and iron out any difficulties
  • About a month after the first visit, we will have another home visit to assess progress and make any adjustments to the plan.
  • The final visit normally take place after another month has elapsed.
  • Email and telephone support as required for a further 6 months is included in the plan.
  • If appropriate to your dog’s case, you may be invited to one of our ‘Growly Dog Workshops’. These are occasional events where dogs recovering from dog to dog reactivity can work together to further their recovery. There is an extra cost associated with this.

The cost of a behavioural package is £220. Each behaviour case is unique. As a member of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers I have access to a network of trainers and behaviourist around the UK and further afield. If at anytime I feel that more specialised expertise is required I will refer you on to an expert in your dog’s condition. If I feel a referral is necessary I will refund 50% of my fee.

Travel outside the Gwent area will be charged at 45 pence per mile.

Some pet insurance policies may cover the cost of a behavioural plan drawn up by an IMDT member, check with you insurer.

To make a booking or get further information, fill in the form below.