Behavioral Evaluations and Modification Programs
Dogs might be “man’s best friend,” but they are not exempt from exhibiting behaviors that their human families don’t understand. Behavioral concerns in dogs can be frustrating, expensive and incredibly dangerous. Numerous dogs are surrendered to shelters each year because of behavioral concerns, and in many bite cases, behavioral euthanasia becomes a very real risk.
Just like people, dogs experience stress, trauma, neurological malfunction, pain, anxiety and a number of other conditions which can cause amplified behavioral responses. Even something as simple as boredom can result in reactivity, aggression and destructive behaviors. Although you may feel at the end of your tether with your dog’s behavioral repertoire, know that a significant percentage of behavioral concerns are manageable or resolvable. By understanding why your dog is responding to triggers in a certain manner, and what is occurring psychologically and physically when these responses occur, you can take the steps necessary to change concerning behaviors.
Working with an accredited behaviorist can significantly improve your family’s – and your dog’s – quality of life. At Synapse Canine Learning Center, we provide expert behavioral assistance for dog owners and their families. We believe that every dog should have the opportunity to live up to their full potential, and helping dogs work through challenging behaviors can be the difference between living a fulfilling, happy life and a stressful, isolated one.
We specialize in dealing with a variety of behavioral concerns, including (but not limited to):
Our Behavior Modification Programs
Learn more about our behavior modification programs below.
A Behavioral Evaluation is required prior to beginning any behavioral modification program.
During this assessment, we will conduct a comprehensive analysis of your dog’s history, previous and current behaviors, environmental factors and influences, physical health, training and more. We will also spend time observing their interactions with others and their environment. In instances where we are looking to identify the behavior associated with a particular trigger, we do not intentionally expose a dog to the triggering influence as this will further strengthen the association we are likely seeking to modify. Instead, we prefer to have owners send a video of the behavior occurring naturally – provided it is safe to do so.
The Behavioral Evaluation is necessary for effectively identifying behaviors and their causes, and it aids us in developing a diagnosis and prognosis of the behaviors in question. During this assessment, we will also discuss the goals which you have for your dog, in addition to the implementation of a management strategy to minimize stress and maximize progress when training is not occurring.
We offer both virtual and in person evaluations. In instances of intense fear anxiety towards humans, virtual assessments may be preferable.
Behavioral Modification (6 weeks)
Our Behavioral Modification program typically lasts six weeks; however, behavior is complex and may take more, or less, time to effectively modify depending on the severity of the behavior and associated learning history.
This is our most customizable program and is tailored specifically to your dog, your goals for them and the progress that we make during our sessions. Our Behavioral Modification program is highly effective in resolving a variety of simple and complex behavioral concerns, and will set the foundation for your dog to live a happy, fulfilled, relaxed life with you and your family.
Our program implements a variety of useful tools, including behavioral management, cognitive and environmental enrichment techniques, confidence building exercises/relaxation exercises/impulse control strategies where necessary, and the training itself. We focus our program on helping you understand your dog, their personality and innate characteristics, and how to most effectively work with them – both now and in the future.
Learn more about our other Pet Dog Training Programs.
At Synapse Canine, we have the education and experience to bring out the best in your dog.
If you have dog training goals, we want to help you achieve them!
What are the benefits of behavioral modification?
Professional behavioral modification programs have a variety of benefits for dogs and their human families. Safety and wellbeing are always our top priority, but behavioral rehabilitation also accomplishes much more. From minimizing the chances that dogs will be surrendered to maximizing their quality of life, prioritizing your dog’s behavior is a crucial component for healthy relationship building between a dog and their people. Some specific benefits of behavioral modification programs include:
Reducing dog bite liability concerns in aggression cases.
Although biting is typically viewed as an aggressive behavior, dogs naturally bite. For dogs, biting can be a way to explore the world around them, in addition to being a communication signal often used to increase the distance between themself and a seemingly threatening stimulus. Although this behavior is natural, dog bites are dangerous and threaten a number of very serious legal consequences. From court to behavioral euthanasia, serious dog bites – especially when humans are involved – can destroy lives. Our behavioral modification program works with dogs who have bite histories to resolve the behavior at its source and teach you how to safely manage your dog’s environment so it doesn’t happen again.
Helping to prevent a dog from injuring itself or destroying property in separation anxiety cases.
Separation anxiety ranges in severity from barely noticeable to extreme. Separation anxiety in dogs often results in destroyed property, self-destructive behaviors, panting, endless pacing or barking, attempts at escaping and more. The behaviors most often accompanying separation anxiety can be very expensive and have a significant effect on your dog’s quality of life. We specialize in treating separation anxiety, and will systematically work with your dog to increase their confidence and comfort level being on their own while also changing the negative associations that trigger their anxiety.
It makes it easier, and more enjoyable, to take your dog out in public.
Behavioral modification programs aren’t just effective for serious behavioral concerns, but they are also an excellent option for dogs who can’t control their enthusiasm out in public. Whether a dog is leash reactive, has enough prey drive to pull their handler over as soon as they smell a squirrel, or or simply becomes uncontrollably excited or stressed out in public, a behavioral modification program will help resolve the concern so you can feel confident taking your dog out in public.
Enabling a dog to gain the confidence necessary to live a full quality of life.
Many times, negative experiences lead dog owners to question if allowing their dog to partake in activities is worth the risk. This can lead to dogs leading very isolated lives. Social outings, interactions with guests at the house, going for walks in public places and attending group classes are several examples of activities that can make owners uncomfortable if they have a reactive or overly-excitable pup. Dogs don’t have to feel stressed, and either do their human families. An effective behavioral modification program will help teach your dog how to behave appropriately in a variety of environments, and will help develop confidence in your dog and yourself.
Helping dogs learn how to relax.
Some dogs can’t seem to calm down, regardless of how much exercise they get. Puppies and adolescents are especially notorious for being excited seemingly all the time, but many adult dogs continue to struggle with this throughout their life. By teaching your dog how to calm down and focus, an opportunity is created for them to learn new things, understand expectations and channel their enthusiasm into a productive outlet.
Decreasing a dog’s stress.
Many behavioral concerns are caused by stress or anxiety. Fear of threats, psychological discomfort and attempting to control situations that they don’t understand can all result in dogs exhibiting worrying or extreme behaviors. Our behavioral modification program will diagnose the cause of your dog’s stress and work to systematically change their response. We will also help teach your dog new, productive ways to cope with stressful situations in the future.
Saving money in the long run.
Dog behavior can, unfortunately, be expensive. Destruction of carpeting, furniture or belongings can result in requiring expensive replacements which may also be destroyed. Dog bites can result in legal fees and medical compensation. It is almost always cheaper to work with a professional and have a concerning behavior rectified before it has the opportunity to escalate.
Behavioral modification for dogs can have a significant positive impact on a dog owner’s life.
Dogs can truly be one of the most magnificent additions to a family unit, or individual’s, life. They are incredible creatures who have been selectively bred to work in partnership with humans for thousands of years. This being said, sometimes it feels like we are speaking two very different languages – and we are! Dogs often respond to stressful situations with behaviors that people don’t understand, and we often respond to dogs in a way that they don’t understand. By working through these behaviors, we can often make a significant positive impact on the quality of life for all involved, in addition to helping to prevent further incidents from occurring in the future.
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Schedule your behavioral program with Synapse Canine today.
If you are wondering why your dog behaves a certain way, and if you would like the best possible outcome for behavioral concerns, then a behavioral modification program is for you. Our multifaceted approach to dog behavior will provide the answers you have been looking for while helping you to understand your dog and their unique personality.
Our behavioral modification programs will teach your dog the skills that they need to live their best possible life, while cultivating resiliency, confidence and environmental stability. From anxiety to aggression and beyond, our behavioral modification programs will turn the dog of your dreams into a reality.
Contact us today to ask about our programs or to book an appointment.