Difficult Dogs Programme
Group or class training is not suitable for dogs who display inappropriate behaviours or who suffer from stress when around other dogs and/or people.
If your dog has bitten another person / animal or you feel your dog may bite another person / animals you should not attend a group or semi private class as this problem needs to be dealt with first.
The difficult dogs workshop has been introduced to help dog owners deal with problem behaviours such as aggression, fear, lack of self control, inappropriate reactions to situations, anti-social behaviour and general inappropriate behaviour. A qualified trainer will assess each dog and work with them.
The term "difficult dogs" conjures up images of badly behaved or dangerous dogs. When we refer to a "difficult dog" we simply mean a dog needing "extra help" coping with what our human world throws at them or with behaviours displayed due to a negative past or mistreatment.
Before commencing this workshop, your dog must be seen by our vet, Finbarr Heslin, Beaufield Veterinary Clinic, Celbridge, Co Kildare. This is to ensure that your dog is in complete health and that the cause of the aggression is not medical.
Problem behaviours can be worked on but many will require ongoing management. We will always put safety first. If we feel a dog is beyond help we will advise that he or she is humanely put to sleep. This will not be advised without a proper assessment, consultation with other behaviourists and all avenues exhausted.
Lack of commitment will mean lack of success in this area.
What equipment / techniques are used?
We do not use flooding techniques, aversion therapy or any form of shock therapy.
We do not allow dogs rehearse the behaviour that we want to modify. We simply promote the appropriate behaviours and aim to extinguish the unwanted behaviour. We will always work the dog to his/her own comfort level. Classical Conditioning is used to change the dogs emotional response to what causes his/her reactive behaviour.
Equipment includes padded harnesses and collars, hoodies, dummy dogs, dummy human hands, clickers (clicker training), food and toy rewards, calming music, safe areas and Bach flower essences will be used.
A stress free, calm and relaxed environment is provided so the dogs can work and learn.
What happens in the workshop?
Each group consists of a number of dog's owners and their dogs. Everyone in the group will have a dog needing extra help so you are not alone. Our aim is to create an empathetic support structure for dog owners within the group. Each dog will have varying degrees of problems.
Each dog will be worked in the centre for a specified time period while the other dogs wait in the car. However all dog owners must be present in the centre to watch other dogs being worked. This will help you understand why dogs display these behaviours and how to interpret and handle them. You will need to crate train your dog or have a secure area in your car while your dog waits to be worked.
Various exercises are used to slowly desensitise dogs to what is causing their reaction.
What do I need to bring with me to the workshop?
Your dogs favourite toys and treats.
The dog must have a collar on with id tag attached.
A properly fitted harness (available for purchase from the training centre).
A secure area in your car so that you may leave your dog outside while you learn from the other dogs inside.
Soft Mikki (or equivalent) muzzle for highly reactive dogs (available from the training centre).