What is the Canine Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ)?
A CBQ is a detailed intake form that provides relevant information. The CBQ is required for a fear, anxiety or aggression issue. The document answers important questions that help provide a broader behavior picture to the behavior consultant and reduces note taking during private training sessions. The CBQ is filled out prior to the initial private consultation. The CBQ must be completed by the pet owner and reviewed by consultant 48 hours prior to booking a session.

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. 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 regardless of whether a session is booked.

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 environmental issues might be affecting behavior.

What training methods do you use?
Positive reinforcement training methods

What happens if the potential client has used punitive training methods or 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 have side effects that outweigh the benefits.

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.

How many sessions does it take to modify behavior?
This depends on what issues you are having with your dog. Explaining and demonstrating how to teach simple foundation behaviors can be accomplished in one private session. However, the pet owner must practice the techniques taught.

How proficiently can you learn a new skill, say playing the piano or ice skating after just one or two lessons? It depends. Some skills are simple and can be learned in one session. Other skills take 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? Having reasonable expectations and creating a behavior change plan is the first step to achieving success.

Explaining, demonstrating and reviewing proper management and training / Bmod techniques for more severe types of behavior requires more time and resources. How the dog responds to the initial training session(s) will give the canine behavior consultant a better idea of length of time needed to reach training goals.

What is the success rate?
Successful outcomes – reaching your training goals – depend on several factors: dog’s learning ability, motivating factors like food and toys, your comfort level with the action plan, and your commitment to the training and behavior change plan.

Realistic Training Goals
It is important for the pet owner to have reasonable expectations based on the dog’s age, breed, learning history, developmental stage, and severity of the problem. For example, your dog has bitten several people and dogs and your goal is to have a dog that is perfectly safe around all dogs and all people. This is not a realistic goal. Another example would be your dog is reactive (barking and lunging) at other dogs while on leash. Your goal is to be able to walk your dog in the neighborhood with less reactivity. That is a reasonable goal.

“Behavior is not something you fix. You can’t unlearn what you have learned. It will always be in your learning history, but you can build a stronger and more recent history for different behavior.” Agnieszka Janarek

Reframe the goal
For example, if your dog pulls on leash, don’t focus on stopping the pulling behavior. Instead, focus on teaching your dog the skill of making eye contact with you while moving. Teach a connection and focus game. Teach your dog what TO DO. Focus on small successes and build on what is working.

Changes to policy
smrtdog and its trainers/consultants may change their policies at any time, with or without notice or updating the website.