Questions? Call Us! 803.818.0643
Located in the Fort Mill Business Center - 1656 Katy Lane Fort Mill, SC. 29708  (803) 802-0032

Behavior Challenges
Occasionally a dog's behavior can be difficult to understand and challenging  (or embarrassing) to manage.  If your dog is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, we can help by providing Private Training or in some cases Group Classes. We will meet for an initial consultation and evaluation and then develop a behavior modification plan to achieve desired and long term results.  Private training and consultations start at $149 per session.  Additional fees may be applied for travel outside of the Tega Cay / Fort Mill area.

stranger fear/aggression
Aggression toward strangers is often driven by fear. This fear can be caused by one or more bad experiences,  neglect, under-socialization. Some dogs respond to fear by avoidance or with an exhibition of appeasement gestures. Others learn that aggressive displays such as barking, growling, snapping, and lunging work well to move the trigger away from them, and thus these behaviors become well reinforced.
resource guarding
Resource guarders are dogs who behave aggressively when people or other animals attempt to separate them from a resource or approach them when they are in possession of a resource. Resources can include items, spaces, or even people. Guarding is a natural adaptive trait and is commonly encountered in pet dogs.  Though some dogs restrict their guarding to a specific category of items, or even a single specific item, many guard across multiple categories.  Resource guarding often comes hand in hand with handling issues, so it is important to screen for handling when taking on a guarding case.
There are many types of barking. Some are directly treatable, while others are symptoms of larger issues and are addressed by training plans aimed at those underlying issues.  Watchdog barking is triggered by people, animals, other moving objects, or noise. Watchdog barking is self reinforcing because it appears to the dog to work, as the objects and noise do eventually leave. This kind of barking is a good group sport—dogs in multiple dog households frequently set each other off or join in the fun. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation will exacerbate watchdog barking.  Demand barking is an operant strategy for attention seeking or specific desires. 

Common examples are barking at Mom or Dad for attention while they are on the phone or at the computer, barking to have a ball thrown or dinner made, barking to hurry up the trip in the car to the dog park, etc. Demand barking is often unknowingly reinforced by the owner, as the they often respond to the barking with attention or action in order to stop the barking.
separation anxiety
Some dogs with separation anxiety experience anxiety at being left alone. For others the trigger is separation from their guardian specifically, regardless of whether other people are present.  Separation anxiety can present as mild or severe.  Common symptoms of separation anxiety include: Anxiety or depression when owner prepares to leave, Strong vocalizing (barking, whining or howling) within 45 minutes of owner departure, Escape attempts / Exit point destruction – doors, window, crate, Extreme salivation, etc.
dog-dog aggression
There are a variety of specific types of off-leash dog-dog aggression. The categories have different underlying causes or motivations — under-socialization, fear, self-reinforcing behavior, and sometimes (but rare) predation.  As such they each require a different training approach.
leash reactivity
Reactive dogs are not hard to spot. These feisty fidos may pull, lunge and/or bark at people or dogs that pass by or get too close. Or, on the other end of the spectrum a dog who's too afraid to go anywhere and will hide, tremble, or whine can also be reactive.

Reactive dogs tend to stress out their embarrassed owners/guardians as they try to keep visitors and passersby safe from their intimidating or noisy best friend. This behavior is fear based and is called reactivity. If your dog can't calm down within a few seconds, he or she is probably a reactive dog. There is no longer a need to feel lost or confused when your dog becomes reactive.  Click here for more information on our Reactive Rover group class