Balancing Stones

Balancing Stones and Behaviour Modification.

Balancing Stones is not an easy task.

It is not an easy task because you are trying to manipulate the environment in a way which changes the most probable outcome.

Gravity exists, I think we can all agree on that.

With that in mind, the most natural outcome when you place a stone on top of the other, is that one or both will fall.

And that will probably happen over and over again, because that is the most natural course.

Although, it is completely possible to successfully build towers of stones, with different shapes, sizes and weights even though it is somehow impossible for many to believe.

Balancing stones is not an easy task, but it is possible if you find the right place to place the first stone.

It is possible if you find the second stone with the right shape, size and weight and then place it on top of the first stone, in the right point where it will be stable so you can place a third stone later on, and so on.

Each stone needs to be the ideal stone, and each ideal stone needs to be placed in the ideal point where it will not only support itself but also support another stone on top of it.

This “is” behaviour modification.

Behaviour modification is not an easy task.

It it is not an easy task because we need to control the environment to avoid the most natural outcome, and open a new route for a different one.

It is not an easy task because we will need to find the right place to create or allow new and more desired behaviours to happen, even though they are not the most probable outcome, at least in the first stages.

Although, just like balancing stones, it can be done successfully if we are able to find the right environment to do it, and apply each step correctly so that it allow us to move to the next one, and the next one, and the next one… until our final goal.

Needless to say, when balancing stones or during behaviour modification protocols, the focus is not on the final goal, but on each step of the way.

Focusing only on the goal will cause Instability, and that will sooner or later ruin everything, be that a tower of stones or a behaviour modification protocol.

So, no matter what is the goal, make sure to find the best environment you can, search for that ideal “stone”, and focus on each step along the way… that is how “impossible things” become Possible.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Nero, Resource Guarding – Building Foundations for Exchange

A short video of last week’s session with Nero.

Nero is showing resource guarding (Aggressive Behaviour) around food items and also places like sofas.

We have implemented a strict management plan to avoid any further episodes and started to work on the issues right away.

We are implementing different exercises to solve the issues and in the video below you can watch one of them.

The exercise shown is the foundation for exchanges that will be used in the future to ask Nero to drop anything he might be holding.

Here we are using “Can I?” and there is a reason for it.

“Drop it” and “Leave it” was already used with Nero in the past in different occasions, and to avoid confusion and past associations we simply picked a completely new sound to develop this skill.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Perfect Dogs

Perfect Dogs.

There are no perfect dogs, in the real sense of word.

There are no dogs which will not cause any problem, or make you upset about anything.

There are no dogs which will not need to improve in any way.

There are no dogs which will not require extra time and effort from your already challenging life.

If that is the kind of Dog you are looking for, then stop.

Stop, not only for yourself, but also for the “perfect dog” you think you might find and later on realize you did not, and proceed to give him for adoption.

Dogs are like any other valuable thing in life.

They require time, energy, and effort.

And they will never be perfect.

But hopefully, you will be lucky enough to find their worth, and understand how much better life can be with them.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

A flower slowly blooming

Last Saturday I had another session with Bronson the rescued staffie.

If you did not see previous posts about Bronson, here is a short intro.

Bronson had a dark beginning and due to that, he is very unsure of other dogs and sometimes people as well.

He is a very quiet dog overall, walking slowly and with a low head. He will lunge and growl at other dogs from a certain distance and might feel intimidated by strange people if these do not respect his space.

Although, in our last session on Saturday, we saw a different Bronson.

We started by practising some lead handling skills and then moved to simple exercises to build a connection between Bronson and his dad and also to increase Bronson’s activity when outdoor.

During our session, Bronson searched for food, played tug, initiated play, walked freely and happy and even wagged his tail several times during interactions with myself.

It was beautiful to watch, just like a flower slowly blooming.

A previous trainer advised that Bronson needed to be corrected with a sharp “No” when he reacted. That is obviously unprofessional.

Using such methods is wrong, but especially with Dogs like Bronson, it is wrong and very unethical.

Bronson is obviously depressed and unsure of the world when out of his safe den (his family house) and what he needs is to develop a more positive perspective of life, grow his confidence, become more stable, trust humans and dogs and be able to control the environment in a more positive way.

That can only be done with loads of positive experiences which will help him grow into a stable adult dog.

Bronson is a very young dog, and he deserves a better future.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

#ricardoministro #dogbehaviour #dogtraining #connectedbehaviour #TreatAggressionwithLove
@ Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Aggressive and Reactive Behaviour is not wrong.

Dogs show aggressive and reactive behaviours to achieve an outcome.

The majority of the cases that outcome is Safety.

They want to protect themselves and feel safe, and for that reason, they show certain behaviours which can be problematic for us.

Although, these behaviours are not wrong…

Watch the video below to know more.

Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments’ section.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro