Amanda van der Walt
Registered canine behaviourist & trainer | Basic & advanced canine ethology
Member of the SA board for companion animal professionals
Private training and consultation for dogs & puppies, done at home
By understanding why our dogs behave oddly or badly, we’re able to help them recover from the cause.
Positive reinforcement based behaviour modification will assist your dog towards a better alternative to their “bad” or unwanted actions. In addition these behaviours are not only replaced with better ones but your dog feels happier with these welcome alternatives as they have better outcomes.
Some of the most common behaviours are listed below. See behaviours for a more comprehensive list.
Excessively or for no apparent reason. – Holes in the garden; along a wall, at the gate, in flower-beds or random areas. – Forbidden household items, garden equipment, furniture, kids’ toys. – Lacking training, marking, senior dogs, environmental stress.
Doesn’t listen, difficulty in training, unresponsive. – On owners or visitors; excessive excitement during greeting or play. – Endless energy, always around your feet, jumping up, neediness.
Towards humans or other animals; family members or strangers – With the other dogs in their pack, dogs at the park or reactive during walks. – Shown towards the owner or others, growling, staring. – People or other animals; strangers, visitors or family members.
Stressed behaviour around new people, animals or places, snappy. – Will do anything not to be alone, keeps owner in sight, over-excited greeting. – As an emotional state to an event or lifestyle; lacks motivation, disinterested.
Cultivating obedience in positive ways encourages an eagerness to learn, listen and respond.
With some basic commands and good obedience skills, your dog or puppy will naturally be guided towards these things and it will help you to have better management of their behaviours both at home as well as in public places.
Obedience training will show your dog how to wait patiently while you prepare their meal, to rather leave what they’ve picked up during a walk, to come to you when called, to wait before crossing the road, not to jump on visitors, not to get stressed at the park, or to go to their bed when you need them to settle.
Leash-training is highly recommended for dogs and puppies alike. An enjoyable walking routine is beneficial for almost all behavioural issues as well as for our dogs’ physical and mental health. Essential socialisation occurs naturally and at a normal pace during stress-free (no pulling) walks.