dog behind bars
Behavioral Dog TrainingNYC Doggies2024-01-07T08:36:58-05:00

Our Approach To Behavioral Training

For many urban dogs and their human parents, ongoing behavioral issues pose a significant challenge. These issues often result in the dogs being excluded from family outings, leading to extended periods of isolation, lack of exercise, and mental stimulation. Some dogs are made to wear restraining devices like gentle-leaders or no-pull harnesses, diminishing the joy of even a simple walk. Moreover, they frequently miss out on social interactions with other dogs and people. These restrictions, in turn, can exacerbate the initial behavioral issues, creating a vicious cycle.

Dealing with behavioral issues can range from something relatively easy, like the dog’s parent learning to discourage certain behaviors, to something as daunting as many years of arduous exposure therapy.

To make sense of behavioral training, we group behavioral issues into the three distinct categories below:

Bad Habits

Bad habits are learned, self-reinforcing behaviors that are undesirable to the human parent.

Addressing these issues with clear communication in their incipient form, while adopting a nurturing yet authoritative parenting style, will ensure these behaviors are quickly extinguished. Bad habits that have gone on for a long time without being discouraged, and have become ingrained in the dog’s personality will require a lot more effort to address.

Genetic Predispositions

Genetic predispositions are behaviors that are innate to certain dogs. Some of these used to be desirable traits, emphasized through selective breeding. However, the changing role of a dog in an urban setting has rendered them undesirable.

We think that genetic predispositions are not a life sentence, and scientific studies seem to agree with us. With the right upbringing and training, an educated parent can raise a wonderful dog, regardless of her genes.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the various forms of anxiety a dog can display. Some of the symptoms are nervousness, hyperventilation, trembling, inability to pay attention and respond to commands, and/or the tendency to hide or run away.

These issues can sometimes be eliminated if identified and addressed when the dog is between 7-16 weeks old (preferably between 8-12 weeks). This is one of the reasons proper puppy training is so important.

The way we classify behavioral issues is far from perfect, especially because we’re dealing with social animals as intelligent and complex as dogs. There’s a lot of interplay among the categories; for instance, aggression towards strangers can arise from anxiety, genetic factors, or acquired habits. Nonetheless, we believe that introducing some semblance of structure to this convoluted subject can be beneficial.

Private Sessions &

Zoom Consultations

To address bad habits and certain genetic predispositions, we provide in-person sessions and Zoom consultations with the goal of teaching the dog’s parent how to better communicate with their dog and eliminate or minimize those behaviors.

For people whose dogs show signs of anxiety disorders, we recommend finding and working with a dog behaviorist who specializes in that.

Consider This

Rethink behavioral training

Numerous dog owners frequently resort to using tools like crates, gentle leaders, and no-pull harnesses, or tactics such as distracting their dog with treats, to manage bad habits. However, these methods fail to address the underlying issue and effectively conceal it. The dog never learns that there are consequences for their actions, and as a result, they don’t understand that their behavior is viewed as undesirable by their human parent.

As widely acknowledged in the field of child psychology, and as parents of human kids can attest, implementing clear rules and boundaries via an authoritative parenting approach is crucial for nurturing secure emotional attachments, emotional regulation, and enthusiasm for learning. In our experience, the same is true for dogs.

Nonetheless, this message seems to elude many dog parents. Professionals within the dog training world often advocate for an exclusively positive reinforcement approach, which falls short in both preventing the emergence of and addressing problematic behaviors. We hope to change that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our answers below presume that we are dealing with healthy urban dogs (from the city or the suburbs), whose main role is to be family companions. In many cases, our advice would not apply to working dogs.

My previous dog had life long behavioral issues. How can I prevent that from happening again?NYC Doggies2023-09-03T11:41:11-04:00

Taking a proactive approach to your dog’s training is the most effective way to both tackle and avert ingrained behavioral problems.

Provided that a dog is in good physical and neurological health, the following key steps should be taken to prevent the onset of behavioral issues: firstly, prioritize proper socialization during the early puppy days; secondly, ensure the dog’s needs for physical exercise, emotional engagement, and mental stimulation are met on a daily basis; and lastly, begin teaching the dog at a young age to make appropriate choices and that actions have consequences.

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.

My dog is terrified to be in the city. When out of the house, she trembles, and tries to run away and hide. Can you help?Ovidiu Stoica2023-09-04T09:44:46-04:00

To be comfortably acclimated to city living, dogs generally need extensive exposure to urban settings between the ages of 7 to 16 weeks. If this critical period is missed and the puppy exhibits anxiety in response to urban stimuli, those behaviors are likely to continue throughout her life. While one can make some progress in managing these issues through exposure therapy, the opportunity for complete acclimation is largely lost after that initial timeframe.

We recommend finding and working with a dog behaviorist who specializes in that.

For more details, contact us; we will get back to you shortly.

My dog cannot be trusted around food, and whenever he gets the chance, he steals it off our counters? Can you help?Ovidiu Stoica2023-09-04T13:02:43-04:00

For family dogs to fully integrate into our lives and be enjoyable companions, they need to understand that there are certain rules and boundaries (which can vary from family to family) they cannot cross. Among those boundaries should be how they interact with food. It is necessary for the dog’s parent to learn how to set those boundaries in a way that their dog understands and accepts. Navigating this aspect is essential for a dog’s seamless integration into family life, and we can help through our private sessions and/or Zoom consultations.

Providing your dog is friendly with all other dogs and people, and does not have any severe signs of anxiety, we recommend considering our obedience board-training program as well.

For more details, contact uswe will get back to you shortly.

My dog is leash-aggressive. Can you help?NYC Doggies2023-09-04T13:02:08-04:00

It depends. We would first need to clarify what you mean by “aggressive.” It’s not uncommon for new dog parents to miscategorize their dog’s exuberance as displays of aggression.

Assuming that your dog does display aggressive behavior, but only when being walked on a leash, then “yes,” we can help.

If your dog is generally aggressive towards other dogs and/or people, we recommend finding and working with a dog behaviorist who specializes in that.

For more details, contact us and we will get back to you shortly.


My dog pulls on the leash. Can you help?Ovidiu Stoica2023-09-04T13:02:23-04:00

Leash pulling is one of the most common behavioral problems people experience with their dogs. To fix that, the dog and her parent will need to learn clear communication, and we can help with that through our private sessions and/or Zoom consultations.

Providing your dog is friendly with all other dogs and people, and does not have any severe signs of anxiety, we recommend considering our obedience board-training program as well.

For more details, contact us; we will get back to you shortly.

Behavioral Training Rates

Zoom Consultation
$150per 1 hr session
    Private Session
    $300per 1 hr session
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