Building Connection to reduce “scanning”

Good morning all,

Here is a short clip of my previous session with Teken the rescued dog.

Teken can get over-stimulated when she sees other dogs in the same area.

She will lunge, bark and sometimes run around in a frantic manner when she sees them.

Obviously, when she does not see them, she still looks for them the majority of the time.

We have been working for a couple of weeks now and there are really cool improvements including her ability to disconnect from other dogs and join us.

This is a simple exercise we did to improve Teken’s connection with her parents and reduce her “scanning” behaviour.

This can be done indoor or outdoor with any dog depending on their level.

The reinforcement rate can be gradually reduced over time for those who might think “but I cannot feed my dog all the time”
You are right, but this is how we need to start.

Drop a Like if you watch this video as it is important for me to know who’s following my work.
At the end of the day, you are the reason why I keep posting content.

If you have any thoughts or questions please drop them below.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

OVER-EXCITED DOGS

OVER-EXCITED DOGS

Dogs showing over-excited behaviours towards dogs or humans can be problematic.

Jumping, barking, lunging and nipping behaviours based on excitement can be just too much for some people and dogs to deal with and one of the most common actions we choose to engage is not letting the “problematic” dog be in situations with other people and dogs.

This can easily give you the sensation of relief because we do not need to deal with the problem and so all is well.

But doing this can actually make the problem worse.

Not letting over-excited dogs experience other dogs and humans will in many cases increase the excitement towards them and as a result, increase the intensity of the problematic behaviours.

Obviously, we cannot let the problematic behaviours get reinforced but avoiding the situations at all is also not the way to go.

This is where Habituation plays an important role.

Watch the video to know more about this, and let me know your thoughts and/or experiences.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

Bruno the Rescued Staffie, Destructive Behaviour – Conclusion

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BRUNO THE RESCUED STAFFIE, DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR – CONCLUSION

A few months ago I was requested to visit Bruno to help out in some issues in the house.

“Bruno has been destroying the house for several months… Doors, floors, carpets… He also knows how to open doors and destroyed several christmas gifts, books, torn apart toilet paper packs and more… We thought this would get better over time, but after so many months it did not and we might not be able to handle him anymore.”

Many of you will read this and think “Separation Anxiety”.

But not. It was not separation anxiety.

Bruno lives with a lovely family who do everything for him. Walk, Play, Interact. All those things that a dog must have.
But all those things for Bruno were too much. So much that when he was left alone in the house, he would always destroy stuff.

The issue was highly connected with arousal levels. Bruno is very “sensitive”. His arousal levels go high very fast and that is just energy which needs to be spent somewhere.

I soon concluded that Bruno’s routine with his family was not helping him and was, in fact, the root of the problem. I was right.

We changed Bruno routine completely, from feeding times, to play time, to walk time, to social interactions’ time.

Soon Bruno stopped to destroy the house and although he still would open the main’s room door, he would go there simply to sleep.

This was achieved within a couple of weeks after my visit and things became better and better over the last few months. We continued to stick to the routine, implemented simple exercises, and managed as well the human side of the process. Keep things calm, and build from there.

I saw Bruno last weekend, and that was after a 3weeks period of time in between our previous session.
No damage, no destruction, no more problems.

Obviously, this story could be very different if we would not understand the real function of Bruno’s behaviour. It could be different if his family would be so exhausted with the problem that they would not be able to implement the necessary changes, it would be different if they thought that “this” was just Bruno. A house destroyer.

But not, fortunately, everything went in the best way possible.

And now, things are much better for everybody.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro