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Understanding the Intricacies of Dog Behaviour

Jan 31 / Sally Gutteridge

The Evolutionary Roots of Canine Behaviour: From Wild Ancestors to Domestic Companions

In the grand scheme of nature, understanding the evolutionary journey of our canine companions offers a profound insight into their present-day behaviour.  When we trace back the lineage of dogs, we find that their wild ancestors exhibited behaviours essential for survival. Over time, as dogs became domesticated, many of these behaviours were modified, yet some remnants persist. Recognising these evolutionary traits not only deepens our appreciation for their history but also aids in understanding their current actions.

The Role of Environment in Shaping Dog Behaviour

Every creature, from the majestic elephant roaming the African plains to the domesticated dog in our homes, is shaped by its environment. The significance of a dog's surroundings in influencing their behaviour cannot be overstated. Early socialisation, exposure to varied stimuli, and even past traumas play pivotal roles. An environment filled with love, understanding, and consistency can mould a dog into a well-adjusted companion, while neglect can lead to behavioural challenges.

Decoding Canine Communication and Body Language

In the silent world of animals, communication transcends words. Dogs, with their vast collection of subtle cues, convey emotions, desires, and concerns. A wagging tail, a tilted head, or a low growl each tells a story. By immersing ourselves in the study of canine body language, we unlock the secrets of their silent dialogues. This knowledge not only fosters a deeper bond but also aids in addressing any emotional issues our furry friends might face.

Understanding the Power of Reinforced Choice

The world of dog training is replete with techniques, but the principle of reinforced choice stands out. When a dog makes a choice and is rewarded for it, that behaviour is likely to be repeated. This reinforcement, be it in the form of treats, praise, or attention, solidifies the behaviour, making it a part of the dog's repertoire.

The Mystery and Resolution of the Extinction Burst

However, not all behaviours are desirable. As we navigate the path of training, we might encounter the phenomenon of the extinction burst. This is where a dog, in its determination, intensifies an undesirable behaviour before it eventually fades. With patience, understanding, and the right techniques, such behaviours can be replaced with more positive ones.

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Positive Dog Training For Ethical Owners

For those who wish to delve deeper into the world of canine behaviour and training, we present our online  accredited course, 'Positive Dog Training For Ethical Owners'. Embark on a journey of understanding, empathy, and effective training techniques. Strengthen your bond with your canine companion and become an ethical owner.