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 dog or puppy is behaving badly, oddly, fearfully or in an excessive way, we’re able to help them to recover or to behave better, resulting in happier dogs and happier homes.
Behaviour modification through positive association will steer your dog towards better alternatives and choices to their “bad” or unwanted actions, to recover from the stress they’re experiencing or just to slow down and relax more. A multitude of behaviours and actions can be helped through understanding their cause and subsequent symptoms.
Some of the more common behaviours are listed below. Please see the behaviours page 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, enjoyable ways encourages an eagerness to learn, and in turn to listen and respond better. Fun training will also teach your dog to have better impulse control, to behave well by choice and for leash-walks around your neighborhood to be stress-free.
With some basic commands and good obedience skills, your dog can be asked to wait patiently while you prepare their meal, 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.