Of course no one knows your dog better than you do. You know which toy is their favorite, the chair they sleep in when they think you're not around, and what they do to let you know they need to go outside. But some of their behavior may also mystify you. Why do they bark at anything that moves? What makes them lunge at dogs or people when you're out for a walk? Why are they so anxious in situations that seem safe to you?
All of these questions can be answered when we remember that although we've long said that dogs are (wo)man's best friends, they're not actually human and their behavior is a response to instincts that have been ingrained over generations. Disciplined Dog Trainer, serving Bergen County and surrounding areas, has years of experience with aggressive, anxious, or reactive dogs and can help you understand and manage your four-legged friend in a way that is respectful of the dog and safe for your friends and family. In the interview below, their team addresses our questions, and sheds some light (not fur)!
1. What are the top 3 reasons a family calls you for help?
We get requests from all types of situations, but we specialize in dogs that have the following behavior issues.
1. Aggression with a bite history. Families call us as a last resort before surrendering their dog or putting their dog down. They have tried everything, other trainers, even other board and train programs. In some cases, the dog's behavior didn't change and in other cases their dog became even worse.
2. Families that live in buildings and their dog is pulling on their leash, rather than walking with their humans, are reactive to other people, dogs, children, etc.
3. Families who never knew that their dog has physical and mental quidance needs, so their dog turned into the "destruction king" tearing up furniture, walls, pulls on their leash, jumps on people, etc. in their effort to fulfill those needs on their own.
2. Why is your program and approach to dog training unique?
First, we teach your dog that they are a dog, not a baby. Dogs are pack animals and as such, they need structure, boundaries and a pack hierarchy in order to build confidence and a sense of security in their mind. In a human home setting, your dog must see you, their human (and handler), as their pack leader.
Even though dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, their pack instinct is still dominant in their brain. When you treat your dog as your "baby", they get confused and that confusion can cascade into a myraid of behavioral issues that can become increasingly intense over time.
In the dog's pack heirarchy, every member has their place and their job. There's always a pack leader, but others in the pack also maintain order within the pack members. We build that foundation in your dog and then we teach the entire family how to maintain the order.
Second, while your dog is with us they are learning in real life situations. We have 2 active boys in our family who live life to the fullest, have friends over, etc. Your dog learns what it means to be part of the human pack. Your dog is included in our family gatherings, BBQ's and parties so they know how to handle themselves in a busy environment.
Third, we have our own dogs that your dog learns from as well. This helps build that pack structure in their brains much faster.
Fourth, we take your dog out into the real world on a daily basis to train. This exposure is a vital component towards teaching your dog how to behave in various situations and builds their confidence, so they aren't fearful or reactive of new situations, sights, sounds, etc.
At Disciplined Dog Trainer, we teach you how to fulfill your dog's mind, body and spirit. When you provide your dog with the proper structure and guidance, you will live together in harmony and enjoy each other for years to come.
3. What is the number one misconception families have about their dogs?
People view their dogs as a human child.
Yes, we understand that the dog is part of the family, but it is still a dog at the end of the day. Dogs have their own needs based on animal instincts in order to feel fulfilled. A fulfilled dog listens to commands, is calmer and knows their place within the human pack. Dogs need their himans to provide proper guidance, structure and a job (mental stimuli) to be fulfilled. When that is absent in their environment, they start making decisions on their own, and it's more likely than not a decision to be destructive.
4. What are the offers you have right now if a family is ready to take action?
Our DDT Board and Train Programs are either 3 or 4 weeks long. Depending on the situation, such as a dog with strong aggression can go longer.
If your love your dog but don't love their behavior, contact Disciplined Dog Trainer for a consultation. Mention Bergen Mama, and recieve a special promotional rate. Call today - (201) 500-9800 - and then get ready to meet that pet you know your dog was always meant to be.