Dog Behaviour Problems

 coape association of pet behaviourists and trainers


   Does your dog have aggression or behavioural issues?

If your dog has issues of reactivity or aggression - lunging, barking or snapping at other animals or people - he or she may not be appropriate for a regular group class.‚Äč Littlewags Dog Training offers in-home behaviour consultations and, for those who are ready,  a semi-private class designed for reactive dogs to help them learn to stay under threshold with other dogs and people. 

Evaluations & consultations -  Please contact Lisa Jones or email her at to schedule an evaluation. We will assess whether your dog is right for a group class or whether private one to one training would be better.

Other behaviour problems which can be dealt with by consultation include;

  • Separation related Problems – which may occur when separated from owner
  • Resource guarding behaviour.
  • Inappropriate chase behaviour e.g. towards vehicles or joggers.
  • Destructive behaviours.
   Dog training or behaviour modification?  

Veterinarians are often the first person a pet owner asks for behaviour advice and they can help with your dog's physical and medical health but they are not always qualified in animal behaviour and training.  A behaviourist can help with developing and implementing a behaviour modification plan and and should work together with your veterinarian who may prescribe medications which can help to faciliate the change in behaviour.
Littlewags Dog Training only work on behavioural modification through referrals from the vet.  Behaviour modification differs from dog training in that dog trainers work by teaching your dog impulse control, life skills, and putting behaviour on cue - resolving unwanted habits through training and using operant conditioning.  The resolution of behaviour issues that stem from emotional responses like fear, anxiety, and aggression goes far beyond teaching cues and training.When there is an emotional component, the answer is desensitization and classical counter conditioning.  
And remember! There is no magic wand in dog training!  Training and behaviour modification programs take time, patience and plenty of practice.

roxy       sophie and bailey
Counter conditioning Roxy the Rottie                                 Bailey the Maltese doing some socialisation with a child

The EMRA Aproach

emra logo colour 02


EMRA is the revolutionary new approach to treating behaviour problems in dogs.

EMRA stands for Emotional, Mood State and Reinforcement Analysis which put simply,

  • analyses how your pet feels on a day to day basis - are they fully content with life?
  • determines how your pet feels when the problematic situation arises and
  • looks at why your pet is continuing to perform the problematic behaviour.

By using the EMRA technique we will focus on the emotional state of your pet, the motivation behind the behaviour and what is reinforcing the behaviour. By using this technique we can treat the underlying cause of the problem and not just the problem itself. During a consultation a detailed evaluation will be take to ascertain why the behaviour is occurring or how it may be being reinforced. You will then be provided with a detailed, step-by-step plan on how to tackle the problem. Typically a consultation takes 60 to 90 minutes. A consultation will also include a follow up visit to check the plan is being effectively carried out.  The client is given on-going help and support as required, usually by telephone but may involve several subsequent sessions, especially with aggression  problems.

The code of practice of the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers (CAPBT) states that members accept only clients referred by veterinary surgeons when  treating behaviour problems as defined by  the referring veterinary surgeon.  As CAPBT members we must work in close co-operation with your veterinary practice and keep them informed of progress and developments throughout. Occasionally blood tests or other diagnostic procedures will be taken to rule out any mitigating medical condition.



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