Have you ever found yourself really drawn to something – out of curiosity or just something you really want – but at the same time, there is something making you hesitant, nervous or downright scared about the whole situation?
A dog who jumped at the sound of a heavy box falling to the floor can become frightened by other sudden noises down the road. A dog who has had many different positive interactions with children will come to learn the presence of kids means good things happen.
Have you ever felt like you are being completely ignored by your dog when you ask your dog to do something? It happens between two humans too…and the problem has destroyed relationships. It can be so frustrating, grrr!
Why is this happening? Is it a case of a suddenly very dumb, obstinate, stubborn, bull headed or all of the above irritating animal?
It happens SO often. When you ask pet owners about problems they are having with their pets, it boils down to their pet being dominant, jealous, dumb, stubborn, territorial, vicious, a pest, or just plain BAD.
Well, here’s the thing. When you tell me your dog is jealous, stubborn, or unmotivated I have absolutely no idea what it is that your dog is actually ‘doing’ that causes you to see him as jealous, stubborn or unmotivated. When you tell me your bird is dominant or vicious, a number of different pictures go through my head – none of which could describe how your bird is behaving.
One of the greatest gifts that behavior science has given me is the incredible ability to modify behaviors in the least intrusive, most positive way. Often times I can set myself and my pets up for success simply by rearranging the environment to make the wanted behavior easier than the unwanted behavior.
Sound confusing? It is really not.