Canine Behaviour Training
I have recently completed a behaviour training diploma. During my time as a dog walker I have had a few people ask me about behaviour issues. I have also noticed an increase in rescue dogs. Then we were hit with a pandemic that saw our routines change.
Some information on behaviour is covered in my puppy training diploma, so I have been able to advise. However I was keen to further develop in this area to be able to better understand and further help.
Back in 2019 I purchased the behaviour course and have been slowly working through the modules. I wanted to put the things in practice as I learnt. Watching body language, looking at signs and changes. Within the course they also cover diet and the effects a bad diet can have. It covers how dogs learn and talks about the difference before positive and negative reinforcement. It also looks at social structure & emotion. They cover environmental and owner influence which I also put into practice while helping people.
When we got hit by the COVID pandemic all of our lives changed, including out four legged friends.
People were home more and we were isolated and having to live differently. Thankfully I work alone and could be there for our keyworkers and the vulnerable. Some people cancelled the dogs walk as they were home and others reduced their needs. This effected their rest and routine.
Once out of lockdown, you could see some dogs had changed personality. Some became aggressive, some became scared of new sounds and others had just forgotten how to play in a group.
Using what I learnt with in the course I was able to recognise signs and help the dogs adjust. This took a few weeks to get them back to their old ways. Patients is key, watching for signs and understand how to move forward.
I have assisted 2 customers with their dogs diet and health whilst learning.
1. This dog started being grumpy and notice thick drool, which was not common within the breed. I monitored the dog over 2 walks and discussed with the customer. After the second walk I notice the dog was having problems whilst trying to go toilet and the drool was thicker and more frequent. I expressed to the owner it could be signs of stomach and throat problems. They called the vet and the next day had an appointment. The dog did have a throat infection and blocked stomach. After treatment and 2 weeks of diet change the dog is back to their old self.
2. This dog was struggling with food. Always hungry and begging. Was a picky eater and didn't really seem to enjoy the food. My customer asked what I feed Nelson and if I could advise. I explained Nelson is raw feed. Being part boxer he has a sensitive belly, so after trying many different dry and wet foods raw seemed to help. It turned out the customer was feeding shop brought food that had a lot of fillers and meat derivatives, rather then actual meat. I asked if they have ever cooked food for their dog. She explained he enjoyed a roast. This is a great meal as you can get pall vitamins and minerals and substance that a dog needs. She went to the local raw food shop and within 2 weeks has noticed the dog is eating well, his coat is better. he isn't begging as much.
After what seems a long time I finally felt confident enough to complete the assessments and send them in for grading. I passed with good scores and overall with distinction. I hope to continue to use this diploma to help people and their dogs.