Hairy Tales Specializes in Behaviour Issues

Not all trainers are able to help with behaviour issues effectively. So what makes Hairy Tales so successful with behaviour cases?

What Kinds of Behaviour Issues Can You Help With?

Behaviour modification involves training to get rid of already existing behaviours that are unwanted. These can include things such as (but not limited to) the following issues:

Eradicating a behaviour that is already present is vastly different than teaching a dog new behaviours.

When dealing with behaviours that we want to get rid of in dogs, your average dog trainer will often not be well versed enough in dog psychology and behaviour to help completely get rid of the problem. This is especially true when we are dealing with more intense reactivity and / or aggression issues.

Eradicating a behaviour that is already present is VASTLY different than teaching a dog new behaviours. This is why basic obedience will often not be the answer when it comes to solving your dogs behavioural woes. 

It will often take someone who is highly specialized is understanding dog behaviour issues in order for you and your dog to get the results you are looking for. 

Dog Training Toronto | Hairy Tales | Award Winning Dog Behaviorist

When I am working with a dog that has behavioural issues, I am always looking at the entire picture to see what could be causing the problem, and how WE can change to help THEM. The key word here is "WE" meaning; it's up to the owner to make changes to how they interact with their dog in order for their dog to change. 

The Hairy Dogmother

The first most important step to any dog training, is improving the relationship with your dog. Dogs, like all social mammals (including humans), practice dominance hierarchy. Anyone who tells you otherwise has absolutely no idea about how nature works, and how social mammals cohabit.

Because dog packs are not stagnant family units like wolves, it means that they are constantly looking at the pack members around them all the time to see if they need to take a leadership / protector role in that moment. Dogs communicate primarily with body language and space, and for this reason, many people do not realize that they are sending the wrong messages to their dog all day long that the dog should be the leader / protector. When this happens, your average happy go lucky dog will likely just not listen as well to commands because, well, why should they? They are the boss not you! 

The major problem occurs when we have dogs who have fears and insecurities about things in our human world. If you have unintentionally told them that they are the leader / protector, they will be reactive and sometimes even aggressive towards the things that scare them.

This is where I come in, to help you understand what you might be doing to send your dog these messages, and to help your dog understand that it is not their job to protect themselves or you, in fact, you have their back and you are their protector. 

So what does behaviour modification look like?


Improving Communication & Relationship

Through teaching you how dogs communicate, Kristina will be helping you how to clarify your interactions with your dog so you are sending them the right messages.


Learning Techniques

You must learn from Kristina how to communicate what is and is not acceptable. Then you must apply this and teach your dog the rules and boundaries clearly and consistently. 


Practice, Practice, Practice!

Once you have the knowledge, skills and tools from Kristina to improve your dogs behaviour, you are to practice every single day. Practice makes perfect!

This is often very different than what most other trainers will try to use to get rid of behaviour issues, which is generally obedience training, corrections or counter conditioning. Without a change in relationship, none of these methods will get rid of the root cause of the behavior issue. If you have already been to other trainers, this might be the missing link. 

What kinds of training tools do you use?

This really depends on the dog and human involved. Again, we don’t use a one sized fits all method, and so each dog and human duo will need something different depending on the behaviour and how intense they are. What is for sure, is we almost always need to switch from the current tool, as most dogs come in completely desensitized to their current walking tool (harness, collar, halti, or whatever else they are on).  By switching the equipment to something new, it allows the owner to have more communication for a few days while the dog is not used to the sensation of that new tool. It’s like getting new shoes. We are always a little weirded out at first because it feels funny, and we aren’t used to it.  We always try to use the least aversive tools possible that gets the results we need to improve the behaviour.

***PLEASE NOTE: Do not switch equipment before meeting your new trainer as this could cause your dog to become desensitized to the new tool if you are not using the right methods and techniques to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Do you use e-collar training for behaviour modification?

We can, however this is not the first go to tool of choice when we are working with unwanted behaviours. E-collar training requires a lot of time and work before you can actually use it as a corrective tool for unwanted behaviour.  If its something you are interested in, it will take some time before we get there to use it in this way. More information on e-collar training can be found here.

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  • I have been working with Kristina 5 sessions so far, and I have nothing bad to say about her. I can say that Kristina is a friendly, caring person not only towards her clients but also to their animals. She is an active listener, and she assesses your problem and your dogs behavior/demener to come up with the best and ultimate plan that works for your dog. I highly recommend her and have recommended other clients to her.

    Tania Golding Avatar Tania Golding
  • A perfect trainer to fit our needs as we raise our beautiful Bouvier

    Myriam and Roland Levasseur Avatar Myriam and Roland Levasseur
  • Simply put, Kristina and her training plan changed our lives. We had limited dog experience and rescued a pittie mix last November. He's a wonderful pup, but working through lots of trauma. When we first came to Kristina, we couldn't get our dog to go on walks, eat from his bowl without growling, or play with toys safely. Now he's the happiest pup and we feel empowered to handle any training curveball thrown at us. All I can say is thank you - and if you're thinking about booking a session, just go ahead and DO IT. It will honestly be the best thing you do for YOU and your PUP.

    Caitie Drewery Avatar Caitie Drewery
  • When we first reached out to Kristina at Hairy Tales, our dog was very reactive to other dogs and animals, so badly that we couldn’t take him outside of the house at all. But after 2 sessions with her and doing the things she told us to do, we are already seeing a lot of improvements. We are now able to pass a dog park without him getting out of control. Highly recommend this place.

    Moozhan Vilkiji Avatar Moozhan Vilkiji
  • After only 2 sessions with Kristina, the owner of Hairy Tales, my 3 year old 'COVID' dog is well on his way from being a hyper, anxious, reactive leash-tugger to a loose-leash, non-reactive, well mannered dog. Let's be honest - most training is 'training the owner' on how to take control and manage their dog but the benefits I see in my own dog is amazing. I could not have come this far without Kristina's guidance. My dog is now calmer, less reactive to squirrels & other dogs and is well on his way to learning how to behave when visitors come into our home. It's about consistency, having the right tools and having a great teacher. Kristina takes the time to understand you and your dog; explains and teaches how to modify their behaviour (and your own) so that your dog can be a dog and not a pest. Every day, the improvements are amazing and I couldn't be more impressed. My only regret is I didn't know about Kristina earlier. Thank you Kristina for changing my life with Finnegan - AND Finnegan thanks you too!

    Catherine Smith Avatar Catherine Smith
  • Our rescue stray dog had a lot of behavioral issues when we first started training with Kristina, but after just one class, we already noticed an improvement. She provided us with practical tips and techniques that were easy to follow and made a big difference in our dog's behavior. Kristina often checked in on us to see how things were going and offered additional guidance and support whenever we needed it (and we needed quite a lot of it!). The homework assignments she provided were also very helpful in reinforcing the training we received in class.

    Ina Z. Avatar Ina Z.
  • Kristina is so knowledgeable and I really enjoy and respect her approach to training. My puppy has been responding so well and I can only imagine the kind of puppy I would have if I didn’t go to Kristina. She responds to texts in case you have follow up questions, which is super helpful. I would highly recommend.

    Sara S Avatar Sara S
  • My husband and I had an excellent first meeting with Kristina., with our two dogs. She gave us valuable additional insight and recommendations with how to respond to certain situations. Already, within the first week after the visit we are experiencing significant improvement with both dogs, in their respective areas of need i.e. better walking with one, and less reactivity in the other. Thanks Kristina for a great start, and we will be coming back for follow up sessions!

    SA W Avatar SA W
  • My dog Merlot loves Kristina and has made a lot of improvement since working with her. She gives me great tips and advice to ensure that Merlot continues to be a happy pupper that feels comfortable and safe. She’s absolutely wonderful and I would recommend to anyone.

    Gabby B Avatar Gabby B
  • I am so happy with Kristina. My previous dog trainer retired and found Kristina by Google reviews. The Google reviews are correct - Kristina is excellent and perfect energy for us. Supportive, kind and fantastic at explaining things. We are making huge progress with Gwenny already. Highly recommend Kristina

    Rossi Ayres Avatar Rossi Ayres