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Dog behaviorist?

743 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  hanksimon
Colby and Ace already go to obedience class, but both have some behavioral problems (Colby is reactive to most dogs on leash and Ace barks and postures at anything he's unsure of) and in addition to trainer, I think they could benefit from seeing a dog behaviorist. Anyone out there a dog behaviorist? Anyone ever seen a dog behaviorist? Do you think it's worth the money?
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Anyone? =\
I think, as with a trainer, it depends on the individual. Some are cutting edge and some are still working with what they learned way back in school. I'd interview them. Get some references. And first I would read "Control Unleashed" if you haven't already, and put it into practice.
I know a few behaviorists who's work I admire and respect. I'm not sure I could put a value on the learning I've received from them. If it's about cost, it varies from region to region. The best thing to do is ask for referrals and make an educated judgement based on the behavior you're hoping to modify. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that by gaining as much info as you can about who you hope to help you.
I don't know where you live, but there's this one woman that has worked with plenty of dog breeds and teaches them whatever you want. Luke went there and I was happy with his results. It's called William's Dog Training Company. The only two things I would say were the downers, were: 1) the cost and 2) your dog spent two weeks there. But it does help.
I wouldn't send my dog away for training. I think a big part of any training or behavior modification involves teaching the owner how to act/react around the dog. That's not something you're going to learn if you ship your dog off to someone else.
I'm not shipping my dogs anywhere.

The lady I intend on seeing is a dog trainer and behaviorist and is going to come to us one time and help us learn why the dogs are doing what they're doing, as well as how to deal with unwanted behavior (aggression/barking). When I spoke to her she told me she uses an approach that is a little more hands-off and puts the dogs behavior on them and sort of makes them responsible for behaving properly. Based on previous training experiences and readings about that technique, I assume she means (for example) rather than telling your dog to sit and then rewarding, she waits for the dog to sit and then rewards, so your dog has to think and make the decision rather than you constantly telling them what to do.

It costs $350 for both dogs. She said the appt should take about 2 hours. My fiance thinks it's exorbitant, but I think if she can help us it's worth it. From reading her resume, her most recent position as a dog behaviorist indicates she's helped in the treatment of over 500 dogs, 70% of which were aggression-related.
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I don't know the specific method, but it sounds like capture-based training... which is somewhat similar to traditional clicker training methods. If this is correct, then I really like this method, b/c it is positive, non-aversive, and results in a more independent, thinking dog. Not everyone really want to deal with an independent, thinking dog.... but I don't think that someone who owns border collies and herding dogs... will notice :) $350 sounds like a terrific price, especially if she can teach you how to do it, and provides phone consultations as part of the price... You might ask your finance to watch, because when it works, it changes how you learn to communicate with your dogs.
I'd be very interested in reading the daily progress....
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