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  • Writer's pictureMecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

The Behaviors to be Aware of in Dogs

Every dog is different and there are levels of reactivity. Being very alert and fixated, the point where the dog is way over threshold and will not learn anything. For dogs to learn they need to be in a calm environment a place with low distractions and keeping them under threshold is the best way for them to learn.

Excessive barking should not be ignored. The dog running from window to window in the home, the dog feels like it's on a duty every day. This is a good time to shut the blinds, pulls the curtains whatever needs to be done so the dog can rest. Excessive alertness to sight and sounds outside the home.

Excessive panting and drooling these should never be overlooked. This can happen because of change in the environment or to a routine.

Harder mouth than normal. If you are walking a dog and you can give the dog a treat as you start the walk and then get a block down the street and notice your dog is taking treats very hard from your fingers. This is a sign of arousal. Something has changed, there could be a different scent in the area. Are there other dogs in the homes you are walking by? This is a good time to be thinking about why your dog has changed in this area. If your dog has completely stopped taking treats, then stop and go back home. Dogs that will not take treats are over threshold. Stress is never good.

Frantic behavior on leash or at barriers. It's another sign of arousal.

Genetics and understanding the breed of dog. Being the guardian of a dog can be a very pleasant experience when the dog's needs are being filled. They all need exercise, enrichment and mind stimulation. It's often the lack of that causes behavior problems. Sometimes it can be medical, and you should always consult with your veterinarian.

If you're having difficulty with your dog, always contact a certified dog behavior consultant or a certified dog trainer. A dog is a family member. Most likely a behavior modification plan can be written up and help you with your dog.

Keeping a dog under threshold. Here I use two leashes, creating two points of contact on both front and back of the harness.

Mecca Curtice, CDBC, CCDT

Sheboygan, WI.

© 2023 Mecca Curtice, Mecca's All Breed Dog Training, LLC.

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