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What does it mean to be a 'holistic' dog training company?

One of the things that makes Holistic Hounds so special is that we openly advertise that we are a holistic dog training company, but what does that actually mean?

Being a holistic company simply means we look at all aspects of your dogs health and well being and make appropriate changes in order to give you and your dog the very best chance of long term behavioral changes.

So in your initial assessment, our team will be looking at and asking about so many different aspects of your dog and their life in order to get as full a picture as we can prior to creating your tailored training plan. This includes:

1. Your dogs behavioral issues

Obviously our first priority is assessing your dogs behavioral issues including what seems to be causing them and how sever they are. We'll do some basic training to see how your dog responds to certain triggers and how well they recover from those in order to best advise what we think the best training plan is to help you and your dog out.

2. Breed and age

A huge factor that affects your dogs behavior is their breed and age. If you come to us with a dog who struggles to be calm and you arrive with a 6 month old Border Collie puppy, well that certainly adds some explanation as to why your dog is struggling to be calm! Although not every dog follows their typical breed and age behaviors, breed and age does often have an impact on behavioral issues and training. Training methodology and technique will also change slightly depending on breed and age and of course the individual dog we are working with and it is important to be aware of any typical breed or age related behaviors in order to give the best we can to the dog we are working with.

3. Previous training

It is also important to discuss any previous training if there is any as dogs who have been trained a certain way for the majority of their life who then go to a newer method may need some more time to adjust. There also may be some training that has not helped with certain behaviors or may explain some of the behaviors we are seeing in some way. A lack of training can also explain some unwanted behaviors and behavioral issues.

4. Food and supplementation

What you feed your dog has a HUGE impact on their whole health and well being and actually can cause or make worse certain behavioral issues. Take the dog who can't seem to calm down again. If you are feeding a low quality food that is high in sugars and artificial ingredients, it's going to make your dog feel more hyper and struggle to settle more than the dog on high quality food full of good ingredients that support their health. There also may be natural supplements that can help to support your dogs health and well being and when partnered with the training we do, can help dogs to take in training better and assist the training process.

5. Exercise and stimulation

The amount of exercise and stimulation your dog gets is also an important factor in your dogs training! A dog who is not getting enough exercise is more likely to express unwanted behaviors out of boredom or frustration and so it is important we are fulfilling our dog exercise needs both physically and mentally. On the flip size, you definitely can over exercise a dog and this can also cause behavioral problems such as over excitement, an inability to settle and a dog who is constantly hyped up and fizzy.

6. Medical history

Something else that can have a HUGE impact on behavior and this doesn't have to be anything major. Simple things like misalignment in the dogs back that causes back pain can cause dogs issues such as reactivity towards people or dogs coming into their space, not wanting to sit, struggling on walks ect. More complex medical issues can also not only have an affect on our dogs behavior but can also have an impact on how we do the training to ensure we are giving your dog the very best care that we possibly can. This may include working with your vet team, physio, osteo or similar professionals to ensure we all are able to help your dog in the best way possible.

So what kind of changes could you expect to make following your initial assessment?

Depending on what we see with your dog, we may recommend changing your dogs food, adding in a certain supplement, seeing our Osteopath and following a certain exercise plan either temporarily or on a more long term basis. This would be in partnership with your tailored training plan to give you and your dog the best chance of success in your training journey!

Do I have to make these changes?

Of course not, our aim as professionals is to give you as the owner the information to make an informed decision on what is the best for your dog. The recommendations we make are with your dogs best interest in mind and to give you the very best possible chance of success in your training journey. You don't have to make any of the changes we recommend but we will be honest with you if we think this change would be hugely impactful on your dogs behavior and training journey and that by not making this change it is likely to cause your dog not to progress as quickly or struggle to progress further. It is incredibly important to be honest and ensure everyone's expectations are aligned to ensure we all are prepared for the journey ahead!

If you're interested in finding out more about how our holistic approach could help you and your dog, get in touch with a member of the team and we'll be happy to help!


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