When should you consider taking your dog to a psychology center?
A dog’s behavior patterns begin from the time he is born, about eight weeks before you have the thrill of bringing him into your home. Other dogs are adopted when they are a few years old and there is no way to know what events have shaped their lives. Even if you’ve known your pet since his birth, there may still be issues that you want to deal with. That’s when the experts at a dog psychology center come into your world—and change your life and your pet’s for the better.
Trainer Versus Behaviorist
Whether you deal with a trainer or a behaviorist, you will learn that your dog’s behaviors are a direct reflection of your personality.
Most people who worry about the family dog’s behavior fail to look at the way they interact with the dog. One of the first and most common examples involves the frustration that occurs when your pet won’t come to you.
Have you ever found it necessary to call your pet repeatedly?
When he finally responded, did you grab him by the collar as soon as you could reach him and holler or even give him a swat on the hindquarters?
Take a minute to think about that: Would you go to someone who was calling you if you knew that person was going to hit you? Well, your dog doesn’t want to, either.
A dog psychologist can help you discover what frightens your pet and teach you how to respond to him in a kind, calm manner. Also known as a behaviorist, he will look at your pet for body language that demonstrates anxiety or stress. This is important since a dog’s natural instinct is to fight when he feels afraid or cornered.
A trainer will help you teach your dog basic tricks such as coming or sitting when called and walking with you obediently. As you move forward toward finding the right psychology center for your dog, no matter which type of professional you are seeking, you will realize that the majority of the work done involves aiding the owner in recognizing various pet behaviors and teaching the owner to utilize a positive manner when working with the dog.
Are you prepared to put some work into your dog’s emotional wellness? Many people who complain about a pet that exhibits destructive behavior, for example, fail to recognize that the dog is lonely and crying out for attention. If you’re not willing to put the effort into socializing with your pet, then maybe you should offer him to someone who will.
What to Expect
The center where the dog psychologist works should be clean and sanitary. There should be a requirement to provide proof of a dog’s vaccinations to guarantee that all dogs brought into the area are healthy and cannot spread diseases to the other dogs there.
Don’t expect that the most expensive dog psychologist will be the best.
One Internet thread tells of someone who paid $800 for a trainer whose methods involved flinging chains at the dog, and you don’t want someone like that.
If someone demands an exorbitant amount of money up front—and promises the moon, guaranteed—move on to the next option.
Some clinics will charge $200-$400 for an entire course of treatment. Other dog trainers that specialize in behavior offer hourly sessions and fees. Most programs last for six to eight weeks.
Some behaviorists will visit your home so that they can interact with your dog in his natural environment. It is then possible for them to see how the dog interacts with the various human members of the family. Other centers like to board the dog in their own kennels for a short period of time in order to break bad patterns of behavior on the part of both the owner and the pet. During this reconditioning period, there are visits arranged between the dog and owner while new behavior patterns are incorporated into the pet-human relationship.
If you’re expecting a dog psychologist to pass his hands over your pet and achieve some miraculous cure, it’s important to revise your thinking. While the professional you choose will recognize key problem areas and point them out to you, it will be your responsibility to integrate new levels of cooperative communication between you and your dog.
Are you willing to put the effort it takes into building—or rebuilding—a positive relationship with your pet?