Updated: May 16, 2018
I can say from experience, that living with a dog with behavior problems is tough. Dogs who develop moderate to severe behavior problems often struggle with fear, frustration, anxiety or a lack of self-control. These dogs benefit greatly from modern, humane training methods that truly change the way the dogs feel for the rest of their lives – not just the way they're acting at that moment.
A bit about punishment
Punishment-based training is not recommended by reputable organizations including the Canadian Veterinary Association and the BCSPCA, yet the use of intimidation and painful corrections is still common in dog training today.
While punishment may interrupt or halt behavior quickly, it can make dogs feel overall more anxious or fearful. Dogs that are trained using punishment may sees calmer. Unfortunately what you're observing is usually learned helplessness, where dogs become afraid to try new things or express themselves out of fear of punishment. Punishment may cause some dogs to associate pain and discomfort with their owners (or people in general), and can result in more anxious or aggressive behaviors.
There are many documented risks associated with the use of punishment, fear and painful corrections in dog training. This is why I train using only science-based, humane, confidence building methods.
Change the focus with positive training
One of the things I love about positive training is that the focus is on teaching the behavior we want, rather than suppressing behavior we don't like. Positive trainers apply positive principles in our work with dogs and their people.
Take note of the things you like about your dog, and work with a positive trainer to replace undesirable behaviors with more appropriate behaviors.
A good positive trainer will skip the risky and unnecessary behavior suppressing punishment. We will work with you to implement science-based, force-free methods to help:
change your dog's emotional state
train more desirable behaviors
and help you manage your dog's environment to minimize behavior issues
Most importantly, your relationship with a trainer should be a positive partnership based on encouragement and trust - just like the relationship you want with your dog. As a positive trainer, I'm here to support and help you and your dog get to a better place.
If you're struggling with a dog with behavior issues, I'm here to help. Contact me.