Rodrigo and Sydney are fantastic dogs. Because we were bringing home litter mates and because my experience with dogs was from my childhood or the dogs a randomly pet throughout life, I hired a dog trainer.
Adolescence and Dog Behavior Problems
We were warned about adolescence and our vet told us that we might not notice any changes. I hoped and hoped. We noticed. When adolescence arrived at our door, our dogs gave us two separate experiences. Sydney lost her hearing; no matter how many times you called her name, she couldn’t hear a thing. She knew she’d reached the end of our patience when she heard “Sydney Australia!” It’s a miracle, the dog can hear!
Rodrigo, on the other hand, became the worst dog on the planet. He was in charge of me; it was awful and one day I contacted both a pet communicator and our trainer, who is also an animal behaviorist. I was convinced that Rodrigo hated me and wanted to live on a farm and my heart was breaking. I reached out to people who I thought could help and they did. I got fantastic insight into both of our dogs and was able to turn things around in a week.
Defining a Pet Communicator and an Animal Behaviorist
A Pet Communicator (or Pet Psychic) is an intuitive who can communicate directly with our pets and learn about what is bothering them. I’ve worked with Jo Spencer and Lisa Wechtenhiser. From them I learned that (1) my dogs knew they had me wrapped around their paws and (2) Rodrigo’s “bad behavior” was because he was bored and wanted a job. His job is now to protect Sydney, which I see at the dog park. Sydney isn’t a fan of other dogs and just likes to hang with me; if a dog starts to bother her Rodrigo comes out of nowhere and gets the dog to play with him.
An Animal Behaviorist works with people and their pets to help understand and alleviate unwanted behaviors. Deborah Dobson, an animal behaviorist in Cottonwood, Arizona, shared that “animals communicate with humans all the time; we just don’t always ‘get’ it and we often miss what they’re trying to tell us whether through their behavior, body language or vocalizations.” We need to learn to listen better.
We worked with behavior and training consultant, Shannon Finch, who taught us clicker/rewards based training and how to recognize the signals our dogs were sharing with us every day. When I worked with Shannon during the Rodrigo Rebellion, she watched me walk with him and showed me all the small ways I was allowing him to take the lead. No wonder he wasn’t listening to me.
Consider Working With Both to Resolve Dog Behavior Problems
Susan Briggs, of Crystal Canine & Urban Tails, shared that “both work to resolve problems we humans have living with dogs in our families.” An animal behaviorist focuses on the outward signs and signals they observe in the family relationship. Pet Communicators access the mind and the spirit of the dog and often get the reasons for the behavior from the pet’s perspective.
Susan and I agree that working with both is the best solution to unwanted behavior; because the pet communicator will identify the root cause and the behaviorist will give us the steps that will lead to a resolution.
My boyfriend didn’t buy into the pet communicator; probably because I made the mistake of saying “pet psychic.” But he didn’t interfere when I decided to go this route (he just refused to contribute financially) and he did notice a marked improvement, but attributes it 100% to our dog trainer. Personally, all I care is that we have two happy, healthy dogs.
How have you resolved dog behavior problems?