Motion-Car Sickness

Most dogs love riding in the car. When the rear door is open they eagerly leap onto the back seat to join their owners for an excursion.

However, a significant minority of dogs despise automobile travel. Due to enduring motion sickness or an imprint from a prior episode(s) of motion sickness, the dogs may stubbornly refuse to enter a vehicle. In severe cases, they may even become fear aggressive toward the owner if the owner forcefully insists that the noncompliant dog come along for a ride. In anticipation of entering a vehicle or during travel, dogs who are experiencing or who have experienced motion sickness may exhibit full-blown panic attacks that include accelerated respiration, rapid pulse, drooling, and trembling. They may become catatonic or stuporous from fear. In addition or alternatively, dogs that experience the physical and/or psychological effects of motion sickness may become physiologically nauseous and vomit, which makes for an unpleasant cleanup at the completion of a journey. Certainly, when a dog routinely exhibits motion/car-sickness, a joint human-canine vehicle expedition is an odious travail for both the human and the pet.

Read More

Psychopharmaceutical Options for Canine Thunderstorm Phobia, State Anxiety, and General Anxiety

When thunderstorm phobia, state anxiety, and/or general anxiety are highly vexing, highly problematic, or particularly severe, a CPT behavior modification program may become further potentiated when implemented in conjunction with appropriately selected psychopharmaceutical medication. Although in less severe cases of canine phobia or anxiety, a properly designed and diligently implemented behavior modification program will result in successful goal outcomes without the inclusion of medication, circumstances occur where behavior modification alone is insufficient and the client pet’s progress plateaus far short of goal. Therefore, without an adjunct to the behavior modification program the phobic or anxious pet may continue destroying property, injure himself/herself, or suffer deleterious acute or chronic physiological effects. Adjuncts to behavior modification may include nutraceuticals, relaxation garments, pheromones, homeopathic remedies, and prescription medication. This article will function on prescription medications that may help to alleviate canine phobias and anxiety when administered in combination with a structured behavior modification program that teaches the dog cognitive coping mechanisms.

Read More

Selecting the Right Dog- Part 1: The Importance of Compatibility

The decision process regarding adding a dog to your household is in many ways tantamount in significance and perspective to your decision process when selecting a mate. Ideally, a spousal relationship expands the quality of life for both you and your partner. Similarly, pet ownership should generate a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship that enhances the quality of life for both you and your pet. Therefore, compatibility is a key issue in determining whether the process realizes optimal outcomes.

Read More

Selecting the Right Dog- Part 2: Selecting the Right Breed

Before selecting the most appropriate individual dog, you should narrow your search by breed. In general, members within a breed will exhibit many common tendencies and characteristics. Many of these behavioral tendencies are advantageous when performing the work assignments for which the dog was originally bred. The AKC categorizes the 170 plus breeds into 7 major groups: Herding, Hounds, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terriers, Toys, and Working Dogs. The breeds classified within each group will exhibit many common preferences, traits, and abilities. Below is a synopsis of the working traits manifested by each group.

Read More

Selecting the Right Dog- Part 3: Evaluating Breeder and Shelter Facilities

If you feel comfortable that the breeder is professional, honest, and passionate, that the sire and dam are high quality animals, and that the sales contract is equitable, then proceed by setting an appointment to visit the breeder facility. While there, you will investigate the environment, the parents, and the litter.
Similarly, before you visit a shelter or rescue agency you wish to know something of their reputation, policies, mission, and customer service and you wish to review their sales/adoption contract. Your community will likely contain a number of shelters and rescue agencies that have dogs available for adoption. Therefore, exercise due diligence to ensure that you are comfortable with a specific organization before you visit. Moreover, when you visit complete a similar inspection to that described below for a breeder facility.

Read More

Selecting the Right Dog- Part 4A: Evaluating Individual Adult Animals

Whereas, in many ways a puppy is a malleable blank slate whose genetics are predetermined, but whose temperament and corresponding behavior is mostly impressionable to the environment, an adult dog possesses a more cemented temperament and more solidified behaviors. Consequently, the evaluation process is imperative when successfully purchasing or adopting the correct dog for your household. Since a firsthand observation at the breeder’s site, animal shelter, or rescue agency only allows you a temporary microscopic observation of the dog’s temperament and behavior, you should also request a more protracted macroscopic overview before formally committing to the animal.

A macroscopic overview includes a thorough chronological history of the dog that includes information regarding the animal’s temperament, socialization experiences, residences, lifestyle, health, training, household manners, and pertinent behaviors. You should obtain the history by interviewing the seller or agency representative. In addition, you will need to personally observe the dog in multiple environments and in multiple situations, including at your home integrating with your family and existing pets. The preceding takes time. Therefore, we strongly recommend demanding a minimum seven-day trial period in the purchase or adoption contract, whereby within the stated amount of time you can return the dog without penalty for any reason you deem appropriate.

Read More

Selecting the Right Dog- Part 4B: Evaluating Individual Puppies

The examination procedures for puppies are somewhat different than those used with adults. Adults have clearly defined temperaments. Consequently, adult tests strive to evaluate present temperament; whereas, puppy tests aim to predict future temperament. The following puppy tests can be modified for use with adult dogs. However, exercise caution when a specific test may elicit an aggressive response. A bite from an adult dog is potentially far more injurious than a nip from a puppy. You will probably obtain a more thorough and accurate analysis and present less risk of injury by following the more conservative adult evaluation protocols described in Part 4A.

Read More

Treating Separation Anxiety (Abstract)

Since separation anxiety is often a complex condition that is difficult to resolve, significantly lowers the quality of life of both the human and pet, causes notable financial damages, dramatically reduces the joy of pet ownership, has owners often feeling shackled to the house, and prompts owners to abandon dogs to animal control or a humane society where there is a high probability of euthanasia, we highly recommend the services of a skilled CPT trainer/behaviorist when diagnosing the condition and implementing a customized solution plan. To schedule a CPT behavior modification session, please contact the CPT office by phone at 404-236-2150 or contact us by email via the Contact link at the top right of this web page.

Read More

Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation distress can severely reduce the quality of life for both you and your dog and is a common rationale for owners abandoning dogs at shelters.

Ethologists believe separation anxiety is caused or exacerbated by congenital factors, excessive isolation from the dam or littermates during early developmental periods, a lack of preparatory isolation from the dam or littermates during early developmental periods, and traumatic experiences that occur when a predisposed dog is isolated and/or confined, or any combination of the preceding. In addition, rescue dogs, dogs exhibiting other forms of anxious or phobic behavior, and excessively “clingy” dogs are more predisposed toward developing separation distress behavior. To a lesser degree, dogs owned by clingy or cloying owners and dogs that lack training or structure are also more predisposed toward developing separation distress behavior.

II. Solutions

Separation anxiety/distress can be a difficult behavior to resolve. Nevertheless, there are solutions that often provide significant improvement. To maximize effectiveness, the solutions need to be implemented conjunctively, which provides synergies that raise the probability of successful behavior modification. The goal of the solutions is to increase predictability where a lack of predictability creates an anxious emotional state, to create unpredictability where predictability creates an anxious emotional state, to create diversionary and displacement behaviors that reduce the severity of the anxious behavior and/or the dog’s focus on the owner’s departure, and to psychologically, physically, and physiologically create a state of relaxation.

Read More

Summer Exercise Tips

You should not neglect your dog’s exercise needs. A tired dog is a happy dog and a better-behaved dog and belongs to a happy owner. Moreover, well-exercised dogs are more likely to experience superior physical and psychological health. Optimally, owners should provide their pets a formal, structured exercise program that considers the following:

Read More

Extinguishing Inappropriate Chewing Behavior (Abstract)

Optimally, to best modify your dog’s inappropriate chewing behavior, we need to consider the preceding causal factors as the primary behavioral problem while concurrently addressing the inappropriate chewing behavior as a secondary symptom. In addition, until the behavior is modified, we need to prevent the continuation of the behavior by establishing management procedures that may include supervision and/or confinement. We may also need to develop a system of active, semi-active, and/or passive punishment that consistently and immediately disciplines inappropriate chewing if the preceding management system is not sufficient in preventing recurrence of the behavior. Lastly, using positive reinforcement we need to prompt the adoption of acceptable replacement behaviors, which in simple terms means chewing intended chew and play toys, rather than the windowsill, furniture, or TV remote control. By taking a properly designed four-pronged approach (origins, prevention, punishment, and encouraging replacement chewing activity), we should effectively modify the behavior.

Read More

Extinguishing Inappropriate Chewing Behavior (Full Version)

If all goes according to plan, by addressing the cause of your dog’s chewing behavior, preventing the continuation of undesirable behavior via active supervision and passive confinement, punishing or diverting inappropriate behavior actively, semi-actively, and/or passively, and prompting him to chew appropriate items, he should permanently replace undesirable chewing behavior with desirable chewing activities that satisfy your objectives while concurrently satisfying his needs for oral stimulation. Nevertheless, destructive chewing is often a complex behavior that is difficult to resolve without the services of a professional trainer or behaviorist. Therefore, we recommend the inclusion of a CPT in-home private lesson to raise the probability of a proper diagnosis of the origin of your dog’s behavior and to more effectively instruct solution techniques. To schedule a CPT in-home private lesson, please contact the CPT office by phone at 404-236-2150 or contact us by e-mail via the Contact link at the top right of this web page.

Read More

CPT’s Perspective on the Cesar Millan Controversy

In summary, although there are occasions where we believe Cesar should vary his training style, many of his critics are ridiculously over the top. Although CPT’s philosophy more often concurs with the training methodologies employed by Cesar’s detractors, we decline to join their mob. Objectively, there is often more than one way to successfully train a dog. Therefore, the antagonists’ vitriol and almost libelous ad hominem attacks on a divergent practitioner are inappropriate and specious. We refuse to censure Cesar or his methods when he is accomplishing his primary job of attracting viewers to the previously insignificant National Geographic Channel and there is irrefutable video evidence that his methods frequently accomplish his clients’ key training objectives. In conjunction with CPT’s eclectic philosophy, we prefer to observe and learn from all practitioners and refuse to besmirch those that express different views- provided the persons can back up their views with a record of success, which Cesar can. Polar methodologies can each be successful, given the condition that they are selected appropriately for the specific dog and rendered by personnel proficient in the technique.

Read More

Pet Training Tips from CPT

Mark Spivak- Off Leash Heeling

In summary, reward consistently, reward positively, and reward promptly to create a well trained dog. If you desire professional assistance, please contact CPT either by phone (404-236-2150) or by e-mail via the Contact link at the top right of this web page. A trained dog is a happy dog and belongs to a happy owner. CPT’s elite professionals have trained the pets of over 50,000 Atlanta families. We would love to add you and your dog to our list of satisfied clients.

Read More

Preparing Your Dog For the Winter

The stereotypical “outdoor dog” is a vanishing cultural preference. In today’s society, an increasing number of pet owners desire to integrate their dogs indoors within the household, especially during the colder winter months. However, many pet owners remain apprehensive when bringing their dog indoors or leaving their dog indoors unsupervised outside of a crate, due to their dog’s insubordinate or destructive behaviors. Fortunately, a well-designed training program combined with a little time and patience will evolve almost all dogs into model household companions.

Read More

Like us on Facebook

 Improve Your Dogs Obedience