What’s the difference between obedience training and behavior modification?
Dog obedience training teaches your dog to perform specific cued behaviors, while behavior modification addresses your dog’s reaction to a particular person, place, or thing. Although behavior modification may include training obedience cues like Stay, Go to Place, etc., these behaviors are meant to build self-control, manage situations, and engage thinking.
How does behavior modification work?
A common error is to address a presenting behavior without treating the underlying cause. A good comparison would be to treat pneumonia with cough syrup. You’ll get rid of the cough, but the underlying illness would still be there! Furthermore, the pneumonia would likely worsen since the primary presenting behavior (coughing) would be suppressed. Eliminating your dog’s aggressive behavior like growling, lunging or shallow bites will not resolve his aggression – it will only suppress the obvious signals. Your dog will still experience the same emotions but he’ll lose his ability to communicate through warning signals. This is often the case when a dog “bites out of the blue” – he was previously punished for growling, which extinguished his most obvious warning signal.
Behavior modification investigates why your dog reacts the way he does, as well as what triggers his response. When we know what is triggering your dog to react and why, we can intervene and address the underlying cause.
How do I know whether my dog needs obedience training or behavior modification?
If you’re interested in training your dog to perform cues like Stay, Come, Heel, etc., then obedience training will help you reach your goals. Behavior modification addresses issues like fearfulness or aggression. R+K9 can help whether your dog needs obedience training, behavior modification, or both!
How do I get started?
Behavior modification begins with an initial two hour meeting to evaluate your situation, assess your dog's issues, and discuss your training goals. It's a deep dive into your dog's background and behavior. The evaluation includes a comprehensive follow-up report with your dog's customized training and behavior modification recommendations.
Will you come to my house?
We can meet with you at our facility or at your home for an additional fee of $50 per evaluation or working session. In-home behavior modification will be available within 5 miles of our Winchester facility at 2637 Papermill Road (behind Anderson Roofing). At our trainer’s discretion, we may make exceptions due to extenuating circumstances and travel up to 25 miles for an additional travel fee of $1.50 per mile after the first 15 miles (each way).