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When it comes to Psychological and Cognitive dog training

Motley Dog is the tip of the spear

Episodic/Elaboration, dog training techniques developed by us in the 90’s

Training with Motley Dog Training is unlike any other dog training. We use Episodic/Elaboration, dog training techniques developed by us. There are many disciplines in the field of Psychology. We have taken tools from many specialties and created these methods based on how dogs and people work. Trained in Universities, not just dog training certification programs. This is why we use the term Behavioral Science.  

Motley is a K9 related to many breeds. Our training techniques came from many sources.     

Funny but, Motley dog is the name of my little boy who is of many breeds with the personality of a pirate. In 2018 he lost his back leg. No peg leg, but, it is a perfect name for my Lil Boy and our company. Beyond “Arrgggh!”

What does this mean for you and your dog?  

Even the best dog behaviorists or dog trainers use techniques that are based on distraction and conditioning. When you have an aggressive or an anxious dog, there are better methods based on psychology. We came up with Canine Cognitive Re-framing and other dog training techniques that are based on more advanced theories. Now others will attempt this, but, if used incorrectly it can cause harm, so, come see Motley Dog Training.  MDT Canine Cognitive Re-framing is based on the best medical and psychological theories we can find. We are still researching and improving all of our techniques.    

Here is an entertaining article from Psychology Today that discusses this phenomena in humans and yes dogs function in similar ways. Some crafty dog trainers might use the term counter conditioning, be warned. Rewards in an environment of fear is not the best solution. Even if you make the mile high club the next time you are on a plane, your anxiety of flying will be there the next time you fly.

Read this article.  Psychology Today The article was written by, Patrick McGrath, Ph.D. When it comes to dog training tips, always vet your sources. It is also good to look at the other side of the coin, that is just how science is designed. We want the best for your dog! 

The conclusion is that if your treatment for an aggressive dog or an anxious dog is based on distraction or conditioning alone, it will take thousands of “repetitions” or years, if it works at all. The reason is simply. Over time, you will accidentally help the dog reframe their perception of events that caused the dog anxiety or aggression. There are better solutions.  These dog training tools take a lot of education and experience so, unless you see at least an MS behind, your dog trainer’s name better call Motley.

FAIR WARNING: This is not a flooding technique, so, do not rush down to the local dog park or take your dog into local stores and attempt to force a behavioral change; this is wrong. This is not an option; it is based off of great science.  When using flooding techniques with people, you have an expert talking them through it. There is no equivalent in dog training.

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety? Leave the fancy cameras and automatic treat dispensers for others. There is a process of treating canine separation anxiety. We have some work to do before we attempt to start leaving your dog alone. The first step is making your dog feel safe and secure on their own.

We need to build a secure attachment. Something else only Motley Dog Training offers and has been working on for the last twenty years or more? Canine Secure Attachment Theory. Dog Trainers and dog behaviorists have a similar problem they are borrowing theories from medicine and psychology but, are not qualified for it, so, they come up with another special certification. CSAT. Certified Separation Anxiety Training.

We learned the foundational theories in Graduate School and have had years of experience and improvement in our craft; there is a reason you “Practice Psychology.” Separation Anxiety is not a special class of anxiety any more than arachnophobia is, so, choose a trainer that already knows the basic theories these techniques are based on and has years of experience applying them.    

This is also why we do not maintain a giant list of dog training certificates, it would be like paying over and over to repeat our freshman year at university. We do check out and learn from many well-credited and respected dog trainer and dog training organizations. We love hanging out at animal rescues of all kinds, Motley dog has even met a wolf. Our local Veterinarians have also done so much for us, thank you.    

This is not intended to offend, however, someone needs to say it. Conditioning and Repetition are theories that are over 100 years old the work of Pavlov and Skinner created a movement, and psychology moved on from that perspective a long time ago. Sadly, even the most modern dog trainers are still trying to cram all behavior into that tiny box. Now, if this is your thing, you have far too many dog trainers to choose from, however, if you really want the latest Modern Scientific Dog Training, Motley Dog Training is your only choice. 

Motley Dog theory of Canine Memory and Cognition

Have you noticed that your dog often knows what you are about to do, even if you don’t want them? Every meet someone who spent time in a dog training class only to fail to get their dog to sit out in the real world? This is because:

1. Your dog is a master of non-verbal communication

2. They learn a thing in Episodes, what Cognitive Psychologists call Episodic Memory. We use the analogy of dog memory being like little videos. Just useful tool to explain our theory of canine memory.

A Motley Dog Basic is to learn how your dog communicates non-verbally and how you should lead and teach using non-verbal communication. (Motley, 1998).  This is very similar to the work of Loftus and her study of eyewitness testimony. The work on eyewitness testimony is a good read. We have borrowed from other Great Psychologists in many specialties in Psychology. We also use rigorously tested and scientifically supported psychological therapy and techniques to help your dog.

One on One Dog Training Designed for you and your Dog

We design training plans that are just for you and your teammate. Hopefully having a good time. We do not use a “one size fits all” approach. We train in real world situations.  This real world training teaches you that not all things go to plan, and you will be right there to see how we handle your dog when things go south. You will have to think and adapt using the Motley Dog Basics and techniques that you are being taught. 

Training technique used by the Military and medical community:

Learn one, see one, do one, teach one.

Motley Dog Basic: you can not teach your dog anything unless you challenge them to screw up!

Some dog people like to teach their dog a little routine, you know it, sit, stay, down and heal. If that is all you are looking for that is great but, to really have a strong relationship with your dog and get the most out of life you have to go through a few challenges together.

In Person, Private Dog Training Sessions are the Best Option

Unlike DIY or even On-line dog training, we, are there to see what really happens and can explain and improve the situation quickly. Virtual Dog Training is a tool, but,  the trainer can not be aware of or experience or what you and your dog really do in a random life situation, and that is often key to the success of training a dog or person. Since the majority of our clients have behavioral concerns, Private Sessions are best, feel free to bring a friend or family member, whoever spends a lot of time with the dog. 

We get You and Your Dog Thinking.

Human Psychologists came up with the idea that you can get your dog thinking. Yes, your dog is not a simple as reward or punish. They are capable of remembering, feeling and thinking. Our proudest moments are when our clients blurt out, “He really is smart!!” or similar expressions of surprise and enthusiasm. It is never a good idea to underestimate other animals or people. Even if you have the scariest dog on the planet, there is hope for your dog! Get your dog thinking.

We have more Toys in the Toy Box.

  Dog Toys and Dogs playing games is a natural way dogs learn. No, we do not mean the dog games you can buy at the pet store, You never know what you and your dog can accomplish if you learn the best techniques, are consistent, and work toward small victories every day.

When you choose a dog trainer for your dog’s sake, be certain that they are qualified to handle behavioral problems and are not just a well-meaning dog obedience trainer. Here is a tip. If your first assignment is to take your anxious dog or aggressive dog down to the local store and start “exposing them.” The Dog Trainer you have selected is out of their depth and is actually causing your dog harm. Fun fact, one of the most famous dog trainers has been sued a time or two for having no idea what they are doing, while causing serious harm to dogs, yet they still consider themselves experts in dog psychology. They are not. So, just go to someone that actually has the paperwork to support their assertions and their theories.  You will not find them on TV which is sad.   

Medication for Dog Aggression, Anxiety or Depression

Medication is not a solution by its self. If your Veterinarian gives you some pills and some advice and sends you on your way, this is not the Veterinarian that you require. Similarly, please don’t run down to the local pet store and buy at thunder shirt, some CBD oil and whatever other supplements you can find for your dog’s anxiety. These are medical interventions that can have complex interactions and that require a Medical Degree. Perhaps one of the best things about choosing Motley Dog Training is that we know when we need help.

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