Contact Me
Either fill in this form and I will contact you ASAP, or phone me on 0416 705 463
5000 characters left

Mark's Dog Blog

Killing Our Dogs With Love - the addiction of affection

affection
One of the most difficult concepts for many of my clients to fully accept, when they have called me out for dogs that are highly strung, hyper-aroused, or suffer anxiety issues, is to cut back on the amount of affection they are giving to their dog, and when they are giving it. Some dog owners have an overly emotional attachment to their dog, that until pointed out and demonstrated by me, were totally unaware of. The amount of affection and love they were giving to their dog, immensely outweighed the amount of affection they would offer another human being, including other family members. It is important to understand that this type of obsessive and overly dependent behaviour towards our dogs is not natural for them, nor in fact for us humans, no matter how good it makes us feel. Dogs do not perceive affection the same way humans do. This...
Continue reading
342 Hits

Is your dog suffering in silence at the hands of your Vet Behaviourist?

dog-drugged
Psychotropic medication should ALWAYS be a last resort.. Not the first go-to option that is now becoming so popular with Vet Behaviourists. The medical quick fix for behavioural issues at the expense of our dogs overall well being is at epidemic levels. The administering of drugs to do nothing more than mask issues such as for unwanted behaviours has become big business in the pet industry. Dog owners in my opinion are being conned into believing that dogs with behavioural issues have a mental illness or a chemical imbalance that only drugs can fix. It is my professional opinion that in the majority of cases, all a dog needs is some behavioural intervention that can be worked through without drugging a dog. On the very rare occasion that a dog does need these medications, a behaviour modification programme should also be incorporated, to help get the dog off these drugs...
Continue reading
417 Hits

Prozac and the dog that shouldn't be.

jett
I am angry..Yes angry, for 2 reasons. A beautiful GSD, forced onto psychotropic medication, and mainly due to a training methodology that wasn't offering him any guidance, discipline or structure around the home. Please note, I am in no way blaming my client. And neither should you! He loves his dog, and was doing everything he thought was right for his dog, by following what he was told was the right thing to do. He wanted nothing but the best for his dog. He did what he believed was right, took his young pup to puppy school. He took his dog to obedience training. Unfortunately, he was like so many others that are falling for this new age ideology, led down a path that I consider in many cases, is detrimental to a dogs overall well being and the human and dog relationship. The dogs name is Jett. An almost...
Continue reading
479 Hits

A dogs emotional awareness, and its cognitive ability to control its emotions

roadrage
I raise this subject quite often, because it is so important to understand. Dogs are not consciously aware of their current emotional state, and therefore have no way to consciously moderate or control their emotions. I'll try and explain in this article. What happens when we are anxious because we are running late for an important appointment, and we get caught up in slow moving traffic? Emotions are triggered. We start getting frustrated. If we now allow frustration to build unchecked, it will most probably transform into anger. If we then allow the emotion of anger to take control, it may then even turn in to aggression, road rage. When we allow ourselves to get to this level emotionally we have gone past the ability to take control of our emotional state, and the emotion is now totally controlling our actions. The type and level of reaction to an event...
Continue reading
452 Hits

Punishment, the evil word in dog training

mumpup
punishment
punishstick
graph
cog
I am becoming very bored with the statement, " we don't need to use violence to train a dog " The positive-only and force-free (PO/FF) groups say that their training follows the principles of canine behaviour, and that all dogs are instinctively looking to please us, so there is no need to use 'violence'. The term 'violence' in dog training and behaviour modification has become the PO/FF training catch phrase. According to these groups, anyone that uses any type of force or an applied aversive, in otherwords physical punishment, are relying on violence to train a dog. If this statement wasn't so serious, it would honestly be laughable. How did the term punishment become synonymous with violence? Appropriate punishment when carried out correctly is not a voilent act. Let me run through each of the points raised in the above image: It inhibits learning - If this was indeed a true statement, then how have animal...
Continue reading
1137 Hits

We all want to avoid discomfort

Dog-Jumping-On-People
Consistency is the biggest hurdle for most dog owners when it comes to being successful at training their dog or modifying its behaviour. It's not a question of "how long will it take for my dog to learn?" It's how many repetitions will it take. The more repetitions a method takes, the less likely we will maintain consistency for the extended period required, especially if the dogs behaviour is causing us discomfort, whether that be physical, mental or emotional discomfort. Humans by nature in most cases are not that patient. Therefore a method can be the determining factor on the number of repetitions, and therefore the probability of its overall success. In this article I am discussing a dog that is assertively demanding attention, not a dog that has learnt to 'ask' for attention by gingerly jumping up. Understanding the dogs intent behind its actions is very important, when determining...
Continue reading
1075 Hits

The good dog bad dog that isn't, and what the future holds

steal3
KISS I am one that believes in keeping things simple, and easy to understand. Dog training and behaviour, due to so much scientific research has become so complicated due to so many scientific terms for every single action and reaction. KISS ( k eep i t s imple s tupid), and explaining it in terms that everyone understands and can picture in their own mind, and relate to in normal life, is the best way to help dog owners understand and quickly take in information. Carrying on with terms like 'conditional reinforces' only tends to complicate matters, and has many dog owners switching off due to training becoming to technical. So lets have a simple explanation of good dog, bad dog, that is easy to relate to and understand, and what the future may possibly hold for dog ownership if we don't understand and adhere to these principles.   Good...
Continue reading
959 Hits

Dog trainers selling snake oil - part 2

snakeoil2
My previous article titled " Dog trainers selling snake oil " had me thinking a lot about other areas I feel unsuspecting dog owners are being sold the dreaded snake oil. I also know that that article didn't go down well with a lot of dog trainers, so I am sure this one will have the same effect. So be it. I have been around long enough to know what is and is not possible, and when unsuspecting dog owners are being sold a lie. One of the biggest cons these days are the dog trainers advertising that they have the magic method that will solve all of a dog's behaviour problems with just one visit, they will 'fix' your dog in 3 hours, and guarantee it! I find this a lot with many of the franchise businesses now operating, offering a lifetime guarantee with a 2 to 3 hour...
Continue reading
1186 Hits

Dog trainers selling snake oil

quote-people-will-buy-snake-oil-from-anybody-who-seems-to-be-selling-it-in-a-persuasive-way-frederick-buechner-149-1-0121
Your dog is not a robot! Reliable does not mean guaranteed!   No matter what you are training your dog to do, and no matter what training methodology or tool you subscribe to, there is no such thing as a 100% fully trained dog.   For example, any trainer that informs you that once he or she has trained your dog that they can guarantee your dog will recall off lead every time in any given situation, or under any distraction, or instantly respond to a command every single time, is selling you a lie for no other reason than to take your money. They are selling snake oil to dog owners in desperate need of help.   You can guarantee one day when you least expect it, the training will fail you and your dog, and it doesn't matter what methodology or tools your dog was trained with. There...
Continue reading
1271 Hits

Road rage, not just a human condition

road-rage
Anxiety paired with frustration are the major triggers for leash aggressive dogs. If you have a reactive dog, then it is more than likely he is a lead puller, that is intensely focused on everything else but YOU. Walking the anxious dog Anxiety------> held back on leash------> triggers opposition reflex response------> triggers frustration = AGGRESSION Let's look at this issue from a human perspective. You have an important meeting to attend. You are running late because you have misplaced some important documentation that you must take. You are rushing around the house checking all the places you feel you may have left it. You are running more and more late... You are becoming more and more anxious, feeling you are not going to make your important appointment on time. Finally, you find the documentation, you look at your watch... running 15 mins late... You rush out to the car overly...
Continue reading
893 Hits

Latest Blogs

10 December 2017
Training & Behaviour
One of the most difficult concepts for many of my clients to fully accept, when they have called me out for dogs that are highly strung, hyper-aroused, or suffer anxiety issues, is to cut back on the amount of affection they are giving to their dog, ...
03 December 2017
Soap Box
Psychotropic medication should ALWAYS be a last resort.. Not the first go-to option that is now becoming so popular with Vet Behaviourists.The medical quick fix for behavioural issues at the expense of our dogs overall well being is at epidemic level...
02 December 2017
Soap Box
I am angry..Yes angry, for 2 reasons. A beautiful GSD, forced onto psychotropic medication, and mainly due to a training methodology that wasn't offering him any guidance, discipline or structure around the home. Please note, I am in no way blaming m...
10 November 2017
Training & Behaviour
I raise this subject quite often, because it is so important to understand. Dogs are not consciously aware of their current emotional state, and therefore have no way to consciously moderate or control their emotions. I'll try and explain in this art...
01 October 2017
Training & Behaviour
I am becoming very bored with the statement, "we don't need to use violence to train a dog" The positive-only and force-free (PO/FF) groups say that their training follows the principles of canine behaviour, and that all dogs are instinctively l...