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 Is Behaviour Modification?

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. 

Kristina and Pierrot

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; its up to the owner to make changes to how they interact with their dog in order for their dog to change. 

Kristina Rapson
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. 

Kristina and Pierrot
Kristina Rapson
The Hairy Dogmother

So what does behaviour modification look like?

01

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.

02

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. 

03

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. If e-collar training is something you are interested in, click here for more information.

See More of Kristina's Specialized Training Services

dog running free

E-Collar Training

E-collar training can be an invaluable tool for training behavioural issues such as reactivity, resource guarding and prey drive. It is also one of the best ways to get perfect recall.

Read More »
Leash Reactive Small Dogs

Leash Reactivity

Leash Reactivity A contagious but curable and preventable problem What is Leash Reactivity? Leash reactivity is when a dog will

Read More »
  • 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
  • Kristina is a knowledgeable trainer and resource. From the video call that I had with her, she was able to provide multiple training exercises to help with leash reactivity, setting home boundaries, and teaching 'settle' to my rescue dog. At the end of the session, she provided a detailed email covering the training exercises we had discussed during the call. She even followed up a few weeks later to see how we were doing! I would recommend her services to anyone!

    thumb K C
  • Kristina helped us with our extremely sensitive dog when he was having some aggression issues. It gave us such peace of mind to actually feel like we had control over our dog.

    thumb Delaire Nicholson
  • My family adopted a rescue this past February who was quite leash reactive. We heard about Kristina through a friend of a friend who hired her as a trainer. Kristina taught us the foundations to teaching our dog that we are his protector. From there she taught us how to redirect his reactiveness. Today he is walking by my side beautifully and rarely reacts to another dog. I have even had people come up to me saying how well behaved my dog is.

    thumb Lorraine Webb
  • Working with Kristina has done wonders for my dog’s on-leash reactivity to other dogs. Before meeting with Kristina, my dog was very reactive - barking and becoming very anxious at the sight or sound of any dog. Taking my dog out in public had become a stressful and anxiety inducing affair for both me and my dog. Across three sessions, Kristina showed me how to set up more consistent boundaries at home for my dog and manage my dog’s behavior on leash. After each session, Kristina shared detailed notes and was available for follow up questions - she was always considerate and approachable. My dog showed a ton of improvement after two months of consistently applying Kristina’s lessons and now, at the three month mark, has virtually no signs of reactive behavior. She can calmly pass by other dogs on the same sidewalk, is unfazed by other dogs barking at her, and confidently enjoys herself at the dog park. My relationship with my dog is so much better after working with Kristina. Thank you very much Kristina!

    thumb Henry Choi
  • We got a rescue dog a little while back and we were having some minor behavioural issues with him and he seemed to have no training as well. Kristina was very professional and patient with not only our dog Willi but also with us, she helped us notice behaviours and explained why he had them and set up an easy to follow training routine for him. Willi has come a long way in the short time we had him. I will continue to use Kristina’s services and I and Willi think she’s great.

    thumb Sabrina Romero
  • I had a great experience working with Kristina to train my puppy Alfie - she was thorough, king, patient and incredibly encouraging! She was flexible with the spring weather and sent extensive follow up emails to help with my training at home. She could even check in on how things were going in between our sessions, and always answered my random questions as well. Couldn't recommend her more! Such a great help to me.

    thumb Julia Bennett
  • Kristina saved our dog Gigi’s life. Being a first time dog owner we were very overwhelmed with our dog’s aggressive behaviour. Kristina gave us the skills and tools we needed to work through the behavioural issues. Through our training sessions we learned how to care for Gigi so that the aggressive behaviour was avoided. Thank you Kristina for all your help and professional advice. We cannot thank you enough!

    thumb Joe Avarino
  • 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 has been a constant resource in my now two-year old puppy's life - both my pup and I love working with her. She's patient, kind, and always willing to go beyond your session to offer advice or help. I've enjoyed working with her and will continue to use her help whenever there is something that needs adjusting. Thank you Kristina from all of us!! 🙂

    thumb Corine Hiebert