It’s very common for dogs to develop behavioral issues when living with humans. Having struggled with many of my own dogs led me to become a balanced dog trainer in Portland. The concept of balanced training is pretty simple – it uses the 4 quadrants of operant conditioning. In other words, lots of reward and positive reinforcement in addition to saying “no” to behaviors that are unwanted and often downright dangerous.
The most important thing to address when working with behavioral issues is a dog’s state of mind. In using training exercises with the proper equipment (prong and e-collars), we can assess what mental state a dog is in and work to bring arousal levels down. Arousal is overly excited and amped up energy which can lead to anxiety and even aggression in certain dogs.
If a dog is doing things like staring at other dogs on walks before lunging at them and becoming aggressive or jumping up on your houseguests, a simple correction, in addition to more structure, can be a useful tool in telling your dog, “Hey, stop doing that.” It’s pretty simple. Structure helps to create a more simplified context for your dog to understand what is expected of them, in addition to a calm state of mind. Dogs are pack animals and are always looking for leadership. If they don’t get it from you, they feel they have to take on that role and be alpha dog. Whenever you tell your dog what’s up (meaning, I am the leader), they naturally feel like they can relax and let you handle situations. This is how we train. We find it works really well for working with unwanted behavioral issues and helps to give people relief and over-all better quality of life. If you are looking for a dog trainer in Portland, Oregon check out some of my videos to see if you think we would be a good fit. Also, check out my FAQ section where I answer basic questions about my programs and training tools.
I have been a balanced dog trainer for several years and have studied with some of the best trainers in the world such as Sean O’Shea and Jeff Gellman. I also respect Cesar Millan as a pioneer in the field of dog psychology and follow the work of Cheri Lucus and Brian Agnew.
It all started when I adopted a dog from the pound that had a ton of behavioral issues including human and dog aggression, leash pulling/reactivity and cat chasing. Although I knew a little about balanced training techniques from my own personal experience with my other dogs, I really hadn’t mastered them. All of it was pretty confusing. In short, this new dog’s behavioral problems were completely overwhelming. I had even consulted a pure positive only trainer for advice but got only a 50% improvement. My dog would still often blow up at dogs and people on the walk. Knowing that something had to give, I desperately dug into YouTube until I found some real leaders in the field with videos that made complete sense to me on how to stop unwanted behaviors. Within 1 week (with the proper equipment – the prong and e-collar), the adorable maniac I got from the pound was a completely different dog. He was responding to me with a new understanding of what behaviors I wanted and did not want. Now he is one of my favorite dogs of all time.
It is my passion to help people and dogs improve their relationships and live better and more fulfilling lives. I know the struggle of owning a dog whose behaviors are unmanageable and I know from personal experience that it lowers the over-all quality of your life. It’s just plain stressful. I’m sure I can bring you more clarity on why your dog is exhibiting certain behaviors and find a program that will work for you and your lifestyle.