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trainer/behaviourist in Toronto?

January 6th, 2006, 05:08 PM
I've been reading tons and trying to learn as much as i can about dogs and training, etc... Kuro is an amazing dog. I love him a lot. The problem I had written about earlier was re: barking at strangers in our neighbourhood while we were out for walks. That has been solved with me doing the 4 things recommended by J. Fennell in The Dog Listener. I had thought I had established that I was his leader and that I would take care of us and he didn't need to be so protective. Then he started to act aggressive towards our tenant by growling at her and barking. Then he gave her a bite before Xmas while I wasn't home. It freaked me out. She went away for a 3 week holiday and so I thought I would work with this 4 step program (eat first before feeding him, walk through doors first, ignore when first entering house, have him walk beside me instead of in front of me on leash). The holidays came and we went to my partner's parents' home. Full of people and chaos and they live in the woods so Kuro was in heaven. Back home in Toronto, he has started to growl at me. This happens in bed. We don't let him sleep on the bed but do let him cuddle with us before sending him to the floor to his bed. Otherwise, he is ok.... he seems to want to be near me, hanging out in rooms that I am in, listening to my commands, etc. But today he growled, bared his teeth at me when I took his bone. It wasn't in his mouth but on the floor. Then he lunged at me and nipped (bit?? not sure the difference) my face. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong and quite distressed about it. I thought I was doing all the right things in being firm and consistent. I thought I was establishing better practices than my partner, who Kuro is giving lots more affection and authority to than me lately. So, I am thinking of getting a behaviourist in to help us. If you have any suggestions or advice, would so appreciate it. Sorry for the long post....

January 6th, 2006, 06:59 PM
alot of questions for you first. How old is your dog? How long have you had him? Have you taken him to obdience class? What breed of dog is it?My personal opinion is your dog sounds like he thinks he is your boss and has assumed the alpha role in your pack. Remember you dog views your family like a pack and if your not going to be the leader hey he'll take over so breeds tend to do this more than others. I can give you a suggestion to help until you get him to a qualified obdience trainer. Get a martin gale collar and keep a short 2ft lead on your dog at all times when he does something you don't like give him a quick correction. Equally praise him when he is doing a good behavior. BECAREFUL your dog thinks he is the alpha and u trying to take back power isn't nessassarily going to go over well. I'm not sure if we are dealing with a 8lb toy poodle or 140lb rottie. Being in a obdience class w/your dog will also help to establish your alpha roll. BE CONSISTANT, your dog doesn't understand ok it's cuddle time on the bed and now off. Either he's allowed on the bed or not. You can always cuddle him on the floor. Personally I think by allowing him up on you bed he thinks HEY I'm on her level and is contributing to him elevating himself in the pack. I hope you get him into a class before he seriously injures someone goodluck.:fingerscr

January 7th, 2006, 08:07 AM
thanks for writing back, yoda. kuro is 3 yrs old approx, weighs 24 pds, is a mix of something, maybe poodle or portuguese water dog. we have had him for 2 months. he was a rescue and so we know very little about his background. he was a stray when found but also seems to have had training prior - knows his basic commands, etc. this behaviour only started recently. otherwise, we thought it was amazing how he was so easy - doesn't go into garbage, no destructiveness, listens to our commands, we are taking him to training beginning in Jan. and yes, i agree, i want to figure this out before this aggression worsens. i was wondering if others had suggestions to trainers/behaviourists in Toronto that they would recommend?

January 7th, 2006, 08:28 AM
Sorry i live in the niagara region of ontario. I do know a wonderful trainer in this area who may or may not be able to suggest someone. He does balanced training,which means about 5-10%treat reward the rest praise rewards and a leash correction for any inapropriate behavior. He also evaluates each dog idividually. What works for most dogs may not always work for yours. I have alaskan malmutes(which are notorious for social climbing) and my most recent one gave me a run for my money. By 12wks of age he thought he was the boss. My son would be sitting on the sofa and he would leap up and full out attack til my son was bleeding in multiple places. We had made the mistake of over indulding him and not coming down to hard when he did bad behavior because"he's just a little guy" So i hauled myself to class and what a difference. He's now 6.5months old and if wonderful(most of the time;) ) except for the typical puppy stuff. If u want to private message me i can give u his name and web address. Best of luck to u:D whoops i should also add that u had mentioned your dog is much more affectionate w/your partner. Sometimes if the dog senses you begging for his attention it is a sign to them that they must be the boss. In thier head it's " hey she needs MY approval look at how she grovels for my attention i must be the boss" you can try ignoring him a bit and make him earn your praise and affection. example Make him sit before you'll pet him ;equally if he snaps at ugive the 2ft leash a firm tug, stare him down;then walk away and ignor him. Really ignor him don't even look at him. Make him come to u for forgiveness and make him sit and love him up and let him know all is forgiven. hope this can help

January 12th, 2006, 11:40 AM
Try Kerry Vinson at 905-344-7973 , hes supposed to be very good. I always frequent the Toronto Humane Society website to look at the dogs and this guy was mentioned as being brought in to help Whitey:

I was going to contact him for help with Farley but things worked out.

I searched for some info for him online and hes considered an "expert witness" for ontario fo animal behaviour.

January 12th, 2006, 12:22 PM
I hear this guy is amazing, and actually has a doggie boot camp (for the dogs that are so vicious, no one else can help) just north of Toronto. He has also done wotk for the THS.

Hi Katherine!! how are you? and how is sweet Farely doing? (sorry for going off topic)