How many sessions does it take to modify behavior?
How proficiently can you learn a new skill, say playing the piano or ice skating after just one or two lessons? It depends on skill. Some skills are simple and can be learned in one session. Other skills take hours and weeks to practice and master. Could you learn to love spiders in one session? Could you learn to overcome a fear or phobia in just one session?
What is the Canine Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ)?
The private consultation consists of filling out a Canine Behavior Questionnaire prior to the initial meeting, especially if the client is contacting the consultant for a fear, anxiety or aggression issue. The CBQ helps provide additional information to paint a broader picture. The CBQ starts a dialogue with the potential client and the potential canine behavior consultant. The document answers important questions, both for the potential client and the potential canine behavior consultant.
Does filling out the CBQ mean that an appointment has automatically been booked?
Filling out the CBQ is in no way a guarantee of service – of a private consultation being booked. We want to ensure that both parties are comfortable with the training plan and/or training methods prior to booking an appointment. Feedback, educational hand outs and other recommendations will be sent to potential client prior to booking appointment. In addition, the canine behavior consultant may have additional questions and may start an email exchange to obtain further relevant information.
Do I have to fill out a Canine Behavior Questionnaire?
The CBQ is required for fear, anxiety and/or aggression cases. For basic training the CBQ is not required, but still recommended. The additional information helps the canine behavior consultant have a better picture of the dog’s daily life and what potential issues might be affecting behavior.
In addition, the overall approach is designed to reduce finances and use better time management, so that the canine behavior consultant is not taking up the entire one hour private taking notes. This information can be collected prior to the private session so that during the private session, we can focus on hands-on training techniques to reach your training goals.
What training methods do you use?
Positive reinforcement training methods
What happens if the potential client has used punitive training methods or has used aversive training equipment in the past?
While not ideal, if the potential client is committed to a positive training method, the canine behavior consultant is happy to work with them.
However, it is important to understand that many clients who are not committed don’t see any progress because they put in minimal effort, get frustrated, and try a more aversive approach, believing it to be a quicker fix. There are side effects to punishment based methods that are achieved through the use of aversive training equipment such as choke chains, prong collars and shock collars. Aversive methods also require a commitment to follow a certain training protocol for success; however, the side effects generally outweigh the benefits. If punishment based techniques are done incorrectly they can cause more harm than good. If positive reinforcement techniques are done incorrectly, no harm has been done. It is important to know that it does take much longer to modify behavior acquired with the use of aversive methods.
What if the potential client currently uses punitive training methods for some behaviors, but positive training for other behaviors?
This is the purpose of the CBQ. Because the canine behavior consultant uses only positive reinforcement training methods, it is probably not a good fit.