These classes and courses are a good fit for any dog, regardless of breed, age, training history (extensive or non-existent) or behavior goals. The training you and your dog will receive here will help you better understand how to connect with your dog and help them work through day to day challenges (reactive behavior with other dogs on walks, fearful behavior with people, alert barking with sounds, hyper-excitement with the resident cat). Older dogs have just as much to gain from training as puppies.
Behavioral training is designed to help your dog regulate emotional responses that generate high stress or arousal levels. We are not trying to “fix” behavior, because dogs that exhibit challenging behaviors are not “broken” – they’re lacking guidance. You will learn how to work through challenges as a team and develop better communication and mutual trust in the process.
Dogs can exhibit sudden changes in behavior if they are sick, experiencing pain or discomfort. It’s always a good idea to have a vet check prior to beginning behavior modification training to rule out ear infections, skin infections, joint or hip pain, dental or gum disease, or any other medical issues that might be contributing to behavior changes, especially when dealing with sudden onset of aggressive or anxious behavior.
The majority of training can be done with just you and your dog in the comfort of your home, on a walk or at a park. Some dogs with more intense responses to specific triggers (like other dogs, or people) will require a “training set up” where your dog is exposed to a challenging trigger in a more controlled setting. At this stage you might choose to schedule private training sessions, or have a family member or friend help you in conducting training set ups. Alyssa will teach you everything you need to know about creating successful set ups.
Training timelines can be influenced by your dog’s age, your level of commitment to implementing management and training protocol and the intensity of your dog’s behavioral issues. Younger dogs with mild to moderate behavioral issues will usually make significant improvement in 3-6 months of training. Older dogs or those with more significant behavioral issues will need more time. Fortunately, the training is designed to be fun and highly engaging, you might even find this course will give you the “training bug.”
Questions will be answered in weekly virtual classrooms. If you are taking a self study course you will be able to post videos, receive feedback on your training and get answers to questions by posting in the Legends Facebook group. This will also give you a chance to take a peak at what other students are working on.
You will be given two exercises each week. Your training sessions will be be approximately 10 minutes in length. For best results, I recommend doing one session each day, or two if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.