Your pet’s behavior is essentially the way in which it reacts to a particular event or situation. Behavior modification, as the name suggests, is a systematic process by which this is changed, in order to increase desirable conduct and decrease any unwanted behaviors. While obedience training aims to teach your dog to perform specific actions on command, behavior modification seeks to change your dog’s reaction to particular situations or stimuli. Obedience training techniques are sometimes used as tools in an overall behavior modification program, in order to change a dog’s actions, reactions, feelings and thoughts. For example, teaching a dog to sit or lie down on command serves to encourage self-control, and relaxation when combined with other training methods.

It is important for owners to understand that when treating a dog for aggression, we need to look beyond simply what the dog does. It requires a more thorough investigation of what is causing such behavior, why the dog is responding in such a way, how and when such behavior occurs. It is possible to suppress aggressive tendencies temporarily, but that is not the correct solution for the long term, as we are not treating the underlying problems causing the unwanted behavior. Our trainers at Canine Scholars occasionally refer to behavior modification as ‘attitude intervention’, because we aim to change the dog’s attitude so it no longer suffers from nervous disorders such as anxiety. Changing the dog’s attitude is essential to give it the best chance of succeeding in the program.

don't treat the symptoms

When people only focus on the symptoms, they fail to resolve the actual problem, as they do not address internal processes such as a dog’s anxiety components and physical responses. They also tend to ignore the two most basic requirements in resolving aggression issues: avoiding the triggers for aggressive behavior, and foundation training which makes the behavior modification process possible. Our professional trainers are adept at reading and understanding the more subtle behaviors which indicate a dog’s discomfort, and they ensure the successful correction of behavioral problems by addressing the root causes.

Along with basic conditioning exercises, there are a number of behavior modification techniques that experts use depending on their suitability for a particular case. A few of the more common techniques used :

Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) and Counterconditioning:

Applied successfully, these processes change a dog’s emotional response to triggers.


It involves several small steps which gradually make a dog less sensitive to triggers that are known to cause negative reactions.


A process by which a behavior is completely extinguished, as it is no longer reinforced or rewarded.


Repeated exposure to a particular stimulus, which results in the ending or decrease of the dog’s response to it.

These and other techniques are most effective when applied by our professional dog trainers, who are committed to solving your dog’s behavioral issues. Give us a call or fill out the online contact form today to schedule a free evaluation.

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Are you having a tough time dealing with your dog’s behavioral problems? Don’t give up just yet, our professional dog trainers will help you control your pet and correct the issues you are having. Using our proven training and communication techniques, you will finally be able to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with your dog.



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