Our pets are our greatest joy and a true source of unconditional love, comfort and happiness. However, occasionally they present with problems that we are not quite sure how to address. The sweetest dog at home may start growling and barking at other dogs when being walked outside, the coolest cat might start soiling the house and even fish may become overly territorial in their aquariums. The world is a very different place when viewed through the eyes of an animal and we may not be able to clearly see what is causing the challenging behaviours. Not being able to stop a distressing behaviour from an animal is likely to cause greater distress in us as humans, leading to a vicious cycle and ultimately, threatening to damage our relationship with our pet. Different animals have different needs and in the city, some of these needs are difficult to cater to. For example, some dogs love to dig or go on search missions. Although this may be challenging to implement in small living spaces, there are lots of ways to get creative and give at least limited opportunities to engage in such desires. Problems arise when animals cannot participate in instinctive, natural behaviours.
My training and enrichment sessions will provide you with animal management techniques that are gentle, positive and effective. While the focus may be on one or two problematic behaviours, these methods can be flexibly applied to a whole range of issues and will improve not only the well-being of your animal, but also your relationship will become stronger and more rewarding. As consistency is highly important to ensure your animals understand what you would like them to do, all sessions include elements of education which make you more confident in handling any challenge with your animal that may come up in the future. Confidence is a huge factor in the relationships between us and our animals – your animals will look to you for reassurance when they are nervous, fearful or stressed. Your calm, assertive manner will calm them down and reduce their need to defend themselves in maladaptive ways. I will work with you and your animal in a relaxed atmosphere to determine and practice the strategies that work best for both of you. You and your animal are a team.
Areas of Expertise
- Basic Obedience Training, including sit, stay, leave it.
- De-sensitization Training, including working with animal fears/phobias
- Problem Behaviours, including excessive chewing, floor scratching, house-soiling
- Separation Anxiety
- Certain Forms of Aggression, including leash aggression, food aggression
Animal Behaviour Sessions
Sessions last approximately 50 minutes each. This time is split between 30 minutes hand-on training and 20 minutes of education. It is particularly important for owners to understand the techniques used and be able to apply them – animals only improve their behaviours with consistency. During the first meeting, Dr. Terrighena will assess the specific issue(s) the client would like to address as well as explaining some potential management techniques and recommending an estimate on how many sessions may be needed. There is no minimum requirement regarding how many sessions you choose to attend.