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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  • Kristina helped us with our anxious and aggressive rescue dog a few years ago. Her guidance helped us gain confidence and, in turn, give our dog the environment he needed to flourish. We recently reached out for further support and I was surprised that she remembered all about our dog and where we had left off in our training. She is calm, clear and patient (both with our dog and with us) which is so helpful when dealing with stressful behavioural issues.

    thumb Sandra Bertoia
  • 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.

    thumb Caitie Drewery
  • Kristina was super knowledgeable and helpful in working with me and my dog to concur her resource guarding and reactivity. Her clear homework instructions were easy to follow and she was always available to help whenever I needed it. Forever grateful for her expertise!

    thumb Kayla Carson
  • Our little girl was a rescue with a lot of fear based aggression. Working with Hairy Tales has given our girl the confidence that she’s needed to go on walks, feel safe when visitors come, and allowed us to understand her needs to make her feel safe. We are SO excited to see this change in our Natty. Thank you so much Hairy Tales. Kristina knew exactly what was going on with our girl and helped us every step of the way!!

    thumb Alyssa Deluca
  • We've been working with Kristina for about one month now and completed two sessions. After our first session, we've seen so much improvement in our little rescue's confidence and obedience. Dobby is really reactive to other dogs and people outside, it was becoming increasingly difficult to manage him when we had to take him out for walks because he would bark or try to lunge at dogs or people even if they were across the street. He was also barking and protective of the home. Kristina has been really helpful with providing us with the tools to help us succeed and build a stronger relationship with our dog. She is really knowledgeable in dog behaviour and not only provides you with the training tools, she explains why the dog is behaving or reacting a particular way. Our relationship with our dog has become so much stronger since we've started, he really is much happier and less anxious. Kristina also provides detailed homework that you can refer back because there are so many things you need to remember. I highly recommend her! She is our second trainer we've worked with and we probably learned more in one session than we did in our previous 3 sessions with our last trainer. We plan to work with Kristina for as long as we can. Thank you!

    thumb Tiffany
  • Kristina is an absolute gem to work with!!! She gave us very helpful tips to work with our rescue dog and followed through whenever we had additional questions! We felt very at ease at her studio and loved the walk through sessions outdoors as well. She catered exactly to our needs in working with our dog and with her help we've made SO MUCH progress. Our dog no longer pulls during our regular walks and his reactivity has gone down significantly since working with her. We will continue working with her to help build our doggo's confidence and to allow him to be comfortable in different settings and cannot wait for our next sessions ahead 🙂

    thumb Hyeyoon Boo
  • I recently adopted a little Shelter dog, who was a real bossy bully of a dog, and walking her turned into a stressful event for both of us. But Kristina help me learn how to pick-up on my dog's body cues/language and help guide her past trigger dogs (i.e. anything bigger than her) in a calm, firm manner. She so much more relaxed on our walks now and I can't thank Kristina enough for her patience and knowledge. She is an excellent trainer and I would recommend her to anyone looking for a dog trainer.

    thumb Hanna Young
  • My 1 year old Chihuahua has been working with Kristina at Hairy Tales Training for just over a month now. It's incredible to see the progress he is making though practicing his clearly listed homework duties that Kristina provides for us. She is quick to respond to any questions I have had throughout my dogs training and is true pleasure to work with.

    thumb Michelle Demeulenaere
  • My favourite thing about Kristina’s training style is her supportive/interactive nature, articulate and honest communication. I started working with Kristina on my dogs leash reactivity/aggression ~1month ago, and I have seen tangible and consistent improvements in my dogs obedience, engagement, and our relationship in general. This was previously a big source of stress in my journey as an owner, and something I have struggled immensely for quite sometime. If you are having difficulties with your dog or maybe you have a dog with behavioural issues that is above your current skill level, she’s your gal!

    thumb Elaina X
  • Kristina is the dog whisperer. I started working with her when I was at wits end with my golden doodle puppy -jumping, biting, leash pulling, barking. Over a few sessions she helped us curb the undesirable behaviors and make him an obedient calm puppy. Results were immediate and her follow up helped make sure we were making continued progress on our own. I"m so so so glad I worked with Kristina. My pup turned one today and he's a really well behaved guy,

    thumb Kristine Coco