Behavior Modification & Dog Training, Time Differences
How long will it take to train my dog? This is the most common question we receive.
When going to behavior modification consultations and dog and puppy training in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach, we are cognizant that our affable clients are very busy and notoriously in a rush. Understandably, CEO’s, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, financiers, and professionals have busy family and personal lives and need to manage businesses, assets, households and still make time for fulfilling relationships with their loved ones. But how can you rush something that is not rush-able? Although a skilled behavior specialist and Miami dog trainer may speed up the process in the most humane, effective, intelligent and efficient way, animals learn at their own pace and no amount of money or power is going to change that.
In an effort to curtail my Proustian prose, a salient difference between dog training and dog behavior modification is time. We have been accused of having a severe case of canophillia, which we accept and wear proudly. As the premier dog training and behavior modification experts in Miami and South Florida, Fun Paw Care educates, informs and creates learning experiences catered to our VIP (puppies and people). It is not a difficult task and much less time consuming to teach a dog to do a fun trick, agility, or a real party pleasing behavior, but when it comes time to modifying a behavior, well, you can do it fast and make the problem worse or do it slow and correct the first time.
The efficacy of a dog training and behavior modification protocol is contingent upon thoroughness and treating each animal (pet and human) as unique individuals. Unlike dog training simple tricks and advanced obedience, vicissitudes of behavior problems are contextual, situational and require a good deal of analysis, education in ethology, cognitive ethology and forethought. A functional assessment is mandatory, as the antecedent arrangement is the second step, in the hierarchy of humane behavior – change procedures. (The first step is the health, nutrition and physical setting of the dog)
We focus so much of our time and energy not only on educating our pet families and teaching fun tricks and obedience, but on saving lives through behavior modification! Dog behavior problems are often the fine line between life and death. The supposition that a dog should be “fixed” with a few dog training visits and swift kick to the ribs (as seen on reality TV shows), “corrected” with a leash pop, or dominated and shown who is “boss”, or “alpha”, is unfounded in science and harmful to your relationship and your dog.1 If a family cannot keep or does not want to keep their beloved family member because of a threatening or exceedingly difficult circumstance, chances are that the dog will need to be rehomed, given up, or killed. We have dedicated our lives to continuing education, learning, teaching and to saving animals and making a positive difference in the lives of families and pets. We find that one of the best ways to save animals is by offering the very best, most up-to-date behavior modification and dog training advice a pet parent can receive. This way our pups are not given-up or rehomed in the first place.
Many factors are at play that determine the speed at which a dog can learn. The most important aspects are the pet parent’s ability, desire and openness to learn. Some additional factors are: the dog trainer and/or dog behavior specialist’s skill set, the ability of the pet parents to implement the instructions provided by a dog training and or a behavior modification specialist, the cognition of the dog, motivation, health, ontogeny, breed type, temperament, environment, the quantity variable and a host of other pertinent factors.
There is rarely a case of behavior vagary or idiopathic behavior that you may hear doctors use (too often for my taste). The science of behavior and applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a labor of love and typically offers solutions most of the time without, but sometimes in conjunction with, medication. We work with veterinarian behaviorists to ensure the pets in our care get evaluated medically in conjunction with our behavior modification protocol. Expediency and impatience are the bane of a solid behavior modification protocol.