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"Dog Behavior Problem Help"
Hi, my name is Melanie Blair, Founder & Owner of Best Friends Canine Services, LLC, of Ohio, Dog Behaviorist, Dog Trainer & Canine Care Specialist.
Canine behavior problems such as extreme shyness, fear of thunder, over excitability, aggression, innapropriate threatening & possessive behaviors, play biting too hard, obsessions, fixations, tail chasing, self-choking on walks, jumping on guests, excessive barking, separation anxiety, destructive behavior, failure to housebreak and more, are oftentimes resolved in just a few good therapy sessions with a dog behaviorist worthy of carrying the title. Still, there are cases where even the best canine behaviorists will need to apply more step-by-step phases of canine psychotherapy to undo more deep-rooted psychological damages done to some dogs, for example, in cases of formerly abused, severely traumatized rescued dogs and aggression-conditioned dogs. Sadly, some dogs are beyond help due to physical damages done to their brains.
Although basic canine psychology applies to dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes, there are different ways of applying the techniques depending on the energy level of the dog, his or her natural born pack rank (very passive to very assertive) and they way the dog reacts to fear and uncertainty. Dog psychology applies to all dogs in general however, each and every dog is unique. For example, I have three German Shepherds who are of completely different in energy levels, pack ranks and natural born reactions to uncertainty and fear. Each needed conditioned and trained in unique ways from the other, nevertheless, the same psychology was being applied which had nothing to do with 'German Shepherd' and everything to do with 'Dog'. So no matter what the breed or mix of breeds, it's the canine beneath the varying colors, sizes, contours and special skills of each breed that is addressed. A very important constant is that behavior modification requires the Owners to consistently apply their Behaviorist's demonstrated techniques. Your Dog Behaviorist/Trainer is there to teach 'you' every bit as much as she or he is there to determine and implement what works best for correcting your dog's behavior problem. Once in a very blue moon a behavior issue cannot be corrected, but that is the rare exception and not the rule and is almost always due to a physical injury, tumor, defect or even a viral infection in the dog's physical brain or system. Also, just like humans, some dogs can be born with physical brain impairments or they can suffer trauma that results in irreversable abnormal behaviors. Some of these behavior issues can be quite harmless and benign, even endearing, still others can be or can become quite dangerous. For the great majority, however, a dog with severe behavior issues is perfectly fine by all physical measures, but simply needs calm assertive intervention from a good and reputable "dog whisperer"...
It would seem that dog whispering (a term made famous by the wonderful Cesar Millan) can be a God-given, natural-born talent for some folks. Natural-born dog whisperers are those born with a seemingly supernatural connection to dogs, a passion (and compassion) for communicating with and understanding canines and the way they think and behave. These canine telepaths, if you will, have an uncanny ability to crawl into the canine psyche and work successfully with dogs, almost magically modifying and taming unwanted behaviors in them. But it's not magic. It's an understanding of canine psychology and the way it differs from human psychology. A good dog behaviorist is able to comprehensively teach other humans the way to understand and apply action-reaction canine psychology in such a way that they, too, can modify and tame unwanted behaviors in their dogs, hence Cesar's famous expression, "I rehabilitate dogs, I train people".
I would like prospective clients to know that I, too, was born with a special understanding, a super keen insight into understanding the way dogs think. I don't compare my talent to Cesar's but, like him, I have had no paid schooling for the canine behavior techniques and training methods I employ in rehabilitating and working with dogs and puppies. Oh, I took exams from a nationally reputable "dog trainer and dog behaviorist certification council"... no classes, just gave them a tidy sum of money, took their exams, passed, and became a "certified" dog behaviorist. It was just 'too' darned ea$y, in my opinion, to get certified and, bottom line, our trade is not regulated by any federal or state boards, therefore all such certifications are unable to be suspended or revoked by the state if harm rather than good is done anyway. After receiving certification of belonging to the supposed 'extraordinary league of dog behaviorists", I began hearing horror story after story from clients about "certified" dog professionals who had failed to help them or who had even harmed their dogs... Veterinarian "certified", dog training school "certified", and dog training council "certified" profesionals who had kicked their dogs, yelled at their dogs, shocked their dogs out of their senses, etc. One such professional even made the news; A "certified" dog professional who threw a client's Maltese into the wall and killed it when it snapped at her. Therefore, I won't flaunt the fact that I gave some self-proclaimed elite dog training council my money to give me a piece of paper that called me a "certified behaviorist". No, thank you. Instead, I rely on my reputation for successful results and have many clients who will positively attest to my success at helping their dogs (see Client Reviews). I do not use any form of yelling, violence or treat bribes. I simply psychoanalyze a dog's behavior in order to unravel and correct negative behaviors in them. I'm not the type of person who would criticize or tear down the practices or methods of other behaviorists in order to build myself up in some desperate attempt to get your business. All I know is, I have a natural-born passion and love for dogs that somehow gave birth to a gift for working with and understanding them. I have been doing this professionally since 2009. Previous to that I have over 30 non-professional years of experience working with and training dogs and puppies. I've produced several obedient, well-mannered, dogs of my own as well as helping many dog owners with troubling behavior in their beloved canine companions, particularly when their dogs have exhibited aggression and dominance issues or extreme fear and anxiety issues. Throughout the many years I spent in white collar upper management positions, when the work day was done, my number one pass-time and hobby was spending time with my dogs and the dogs of others. I educated myself and continue to keep myself diligently updated by reading and researching books, reference materials and articles produced by top veterinary schools on canine behavior theories and medicine and by being faced with and exposed to many different canine ailments and conditions in my own dogs and in the dogs of family and friends. Experience has been an education in itself, nevertheless, I would never profess to be as wise as a Vet when it comes to physical ailments and conditions in dogs and my own dogs see their Vet regularly. However, I'm certainly educated enough to know when to tell someone to consult a Vet as well as when they should seek a second veterinary opinion.
As for "GUARANTEES", I would like to start out by saying, in the field of psychology, whether dealing with humans or dogs, there really are no guarantees. Dog behaviorists, whether obtaining certificates reflecting that they have taken paid classes or whether they never took a paid class in their life, rely on "results" to build their reputations. In other words, dog behaviorists and trainers rely on building a reputation with the clients who contact them for help. A good dog behaviorist should be able to furnish you with sound, verifiable references as well as demonstrate to you during a consultation that he or she can help your dog. With Best Friends Canine Services, if you less than 15 miles from my Uniontown, Ohio home office, I come to you and your dog to give a free in-home 1/2-hour consultation and demonstration. Prospective clients over 15 miles from Uniontown, the 1/2-hour free consultation is done over the phone. So I 'do' offer a GUARANTEE: If you do not feel I am the right fit for helping your dog by the end of the free half hour consultation, there is no hard feelings, no obligation and no charge. It's that simple. :)
But BEFORE YOU CALL ME OR ANY OTHER DOG BEHAVIORIST/TRAINER, if your dog is exhibiting troubling behavior, particularly sudden-onset aggression, nervousness or abnormal behavior of any kind, before calling in a behaviorist or dog whisperer, please take your dog for a thorough examination by your Veterinarian to rule out any potential physical problems which may be at the root of the behavior. If your dog gets a clean bill of health by your Veterinarian, only then should you move on to the next step of contacting a reputable dog behaviorist, but definitely call a dog behaviorist before agreeing to any kind of "doggy prozac". In fact, be very wary of a Vet who would script your dog with medicine before first recommending that you try 'unmedicated' behavior modification with a dog behaviorist. And, remember, don't be conned into thinking the behaviorist you should seek needs to be a "certified behaviorist" or "veterinary behaviorist". Please don't get me wrong, there are individuals holding certificates and Veterinary endorsements who 'are' good dog behaviorists and trainers. But there are also many who aren't. The most important thing to consider is good results reputation (client references) and the behaviorist/trainer's willingness to demonstrate his or her capabilities in person BEFORE you make a financial investment. I stand ready to meet both criteria. ARF!
It goes by many names; Dog Whispering, Dog Psychotherapy, Dog Behavior Intervention, Canine Behavior Therapy, Canine Behavior Problem Help, Canine Behavior Issue Rehabilitation and many more, but the botton line is, if your dog has a troubling behavior problem or is behaving dangerously, chances are, we can help . . .