Dog behaviour issues? Switch your focus!

Do you have a dog with behaviour issues that you'd love to resolve? Is there something your dog does that drives you mad? Or just makes life difficult at times? Even the best behaved pooch tends to have the odd behaviour quirk that their owner would love to change.

It's natural for us to focus on the bits we don't like. The occasional behaviour that we find difficult to deal with - such barking like crazy at the postman, or something morbidly embarrassing like crashing another families picnic and ever so gently taking the toddlers sandwich from his hand (true story - just ask Trina!) At times like this we tend to quickly forget about all the great decisions our dogs make and focus on the bits we don't like.

Concept training takes a different approach to training our dogs. We train for the moment, not in the moment. We work to re-shape our dogs brains and the way they think - so when we need them to make good decisions in the moment, they know how to. Take Buddy and his picnic crashing tendencies (he is a lab after all!) For Buddy, instead of focusing on what we didn't want (stealing food from the hands of babes!) we focused on what we did want - a dog that wanted to hang out with his owner on walks, that didn't want to stray or explore other peoples picnics because the fun time to be had was where his owner was. And if he ever did decide to wander, he had a rock solid recall that brought him straight back, regardless as to how yummy that toddlers sandwich appeared to be!

By flipping our focus and thinking about what we do want, instead of what we don't, we can start to put a training plan in place - a plan that helps our dogs to build the skills they need to behave in the way we want them to. So Buddy loves the look of other people's picnics. What skill does he need to understand not to help himself to other people's food? Well he needs self-control around food for one. He needs great proximity to his owner - he wants to hang around with her rather than wander off. He needs a rock solid recall. He needs to be able to listen and think when he's excited. Good news is... there are games for all of that. Super fun, easy games that are enjoyable for both you and your dog, that you can do at home, in the living room, in the garden, on the front drive, out on a walk... all of which add up to changing your dogs thinking, equipping them with the skills they need to be able to listen to you, even when excited (or worried, anxious or fearful if you're dealing with a different issue). To return to you, even when a super tasty half eaten cheeseburger has been left on the floor. To choose to play with you rather than be enticed by the environment, another dog, a squirrel or someone else's picnic!

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