Does your dog bark all day when you’re away, angering neighbors and bringing down the wrath of the condo board?
The latest venture of dog trainer/behavior consultants Roger Lautt and Fran Berry, CPDT-KA has their on call Pet Problem Solvers business in great demand in many of Chicago’s pet friendly high-rises.
Condo living is unique in that neighbors must live in close proximity to one another, therefore in order for residents to experience a good quality of life, it is vitally important that they, their children and their pets live in harmony.
The goal for Pet Problem Solvers is to create good canine neighbors and as such they work with residents and condo boards to foster a relationship based on respect and understanding especially between pet and non-pet owners, and to diffuse pet issues before they become contentious and end up in an expensive pawsuit!
In the matter of dog barking issues it is important to understand that dogs bark to communicate for a myriad of reasons, among them, they communicate excitement, they communicate a warning of intruders, and they communicate when they are stressed out. But it is futile to attempt to extinguish the barking until the causes of the barking are known.
The Pet Problem Solvers are very thorough as they:
• Look at the causes of the behavior
• Investigate the environment
• Implement a sound behavior modification plan
There are voluntary bark-behaviors such as demand barking, in which the dog has learned that doing so brings lots of rewards like table scraps when you’re dining, and that type of barking behavior can be controlled by consequences to remedy the problem. However, emotional behaviors such as stress cannot be controlled by punitive measures using shock collars, squirt guns, or yelling, just to name a few. And to those who do use these methods it may appear that the barking has been reduced or eliminated, but more likely the behavior has been suppressed for a while. Unfortunately and more importantly, the stress levels are alive and kicking because they were not being addressed and this typically escalates the unwanted behavior. For the poor dogs, this often results in an eviction, a one-way ticket to the pound or worse!
Many dog owners crate their dogs however often times this can be the source of the dog’s stress. Contrary to popular folklore, dogs are not den animals, and while their closest relative, the Grey wolf, does use a den, it does so with in and out privileges, so to speak; it is not locked in the den for hours on end! Some dogs suffer from the confinement and if your animal is stressed and or has a lot of energy to burn, the crate cannot accommodate his need to move around therefore Pet Problem Solvers has among their list of services, classes to stimulate the canine brain:
• Playing games
• Learning tricks
• Inter-active puzzle classes Canine Nose Work
We tend to not notice that our dogs are under-stimulated couch potatoes until they grab our attention with fallout behaviors that have been festering.
The Pet Problem Solvers can provide consultation, training and a behavior modification plan for your dog. They will also write a letter to your condominium board, speak with your neighbor and or refer you to their attorney who has extensive knowledge of Illinois condominium law.
Please visit their website at www.chicagodogpads.com as well as their canine partner, www.gofidogoodfido.com for a list of services and upcoming classes.