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Dog Behaviorist Toronto — Reactivity, Fear, Anxiety, Aggression Problems

Reactive Dogs, Fearful, Anxious or Aggressive Dogs

Behaviour Modification For Dogs

This service is provided to help dogs that  are struggling with reactivity, fear, anxiety, or aggression problems, such as:

  • Barking and lunging at other dogs (Dog Reactivity)
  • Barking and lunging at strangers (People Reactivity)
  • Aggression towards dogs or people (nipped or bitten or caused injury to other dogs or people)
  • Resource Guarding (aggression to keep toys, bones, or stolen objects)
  • Handling Sensitivity (aggression when touched, held, groomed, or restrained)
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Fearful and shut down in new or strange environments or around new people

Our Process

The When Hounds Fly GETS Process for Behaviour Change is our system for working with our clients to support them through their journey of employing humane approaches to change behaviour in their dogs.

WHF GETS Process

First, Gather history and background to understand the antecedents contributing to the behaviours of concern. Our clients complete a comprehensive Canine Behaviour History Form, and during the first appointment, we review it together to confirm understanding of the critical contributing factors.

Second, Explain the underlying principles of learning and behaviour that reinforce the behaviours of concern, and how you’ll change these behaviours over time.

Third, Teach YOU how to teach your dog! The journey will require consistent effort over time, and if we do our job correctly, you’ll have the skills you need to see it through.

Lastly, Send you post-lesson followup materials, and adjustments to your training plans until we see you for your next lesson.

Our Values and Methods

  • Ensuring the health and physical well-being of the dog – that includes physical health (diet, rest, exercise, medical illness) and emotional well-being
  • Setting them up for success – Avoiding putting the dog in situations where he or she is likely to fail and do the unwanted behaviour
  • Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning – Presenting less threatening versions of the triggering stimulus and pairing it with things the dog really enjoys
  • Positive Reinforcement/Differential Reinforcement of Alternate Behaviour – Teaching other skills the dog can do instead of the unwanted behaviour
  • Ensuring the health and physical well-being of the dog – that includes physical health (diet, rest, exercise, medical illness) and emotional well-being
  • Setting them up for success – Avoiding putting the dog in situations where he or she is likely to fail and do the unwanted behaviour
  • Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning – Presenting less threatening versions of the triggering stimulus and pairing it with things the dog really enjoys
  • Positive Reinforcement/Differential Reinforcement of Alternate Behaviour – Teaching other skills the dog can do instead of the unwanted behaviour

Rest assured, you will not find these kinds of techniques or tools in our training plans:

    • Leash corrections (jerking on the dog’s neck)
    • Punishment collars (choke chain, prong collar, shock collar)
    • Physical violence (scruff shakes, alpha-rolls, pinning the dog)
    • Fear-inducing deterrents (throw chains in bags, water balloons, pop cans full of pennies, “pet corrector” horns, etc.)
    • Leash corrections (jerking on the dog’s neck)
    • Punishment collars (choke chain, prong collar, shock collar)
    • Physical violence (scruff shakes, alpha-rolls, pinning the dog)
    • Fear-inducing deterrents (throw chains in bags, water balloons, pop cans full of pennies, “pet corrector” horns, etc.)

    Availability

    Our team is growing and we strive to offer you fast turnaround from inquiry to your first booking. In a few cases of very severe aggression or anxiety, clients may need to book farther out for a senior instructor.

    Our Service Area

    Lessons Via Zoom: Anywhere!

    In-person lessons are available as follows:

    West End: Bordered by Eglinton to Davenport in the North, Spadina to the East, 427 to the West, to the Lakeshore.

    Midtown: Bordered by Sheppard to the North, Don Mills to the East, Bloor to the South, Allen to the West.

    East End: Bordered by O’Connor/St Clair to the North, Birchmount to the East, Broadview Avenue to the West, to the Lakeshore.

    Around Fairview Mall: Steeles East to the North, Warden to the East, Leslie to the West, south to the 401.

    In-school lessons are available out of all of our 5 locations (Pinmarked on the above map). We are happy to work with you at our facilities if you are outside of our service area.

    A Team-Based Approach for Success

    We are a team!

    Working with When Hounds Fly means you get many experts working behind the scenes to help you succeed.

    We hold weekly case review calls where we review our current cases and brainstorm as a team for best practices to bring back to our clients.

    Our most senior instructors have 10+ years experience each, allowing our whole team to leverage our collective knowledge. Why hire one trainer when you can work with a team?

    K. Turner

    “Rachael was absolutely wonderful – she is experienced, knowledgeable and makes you feel super comfortable and confident. She gave us great tips, answered all of our questions, and was overall an excellent teacher (showing us by example and then having both my husband and I try). We had moved condo buildings and our dog had become reactive to some of the new dogs in the building and in just 2 sessions with Rachael he has improved so much. He now seems relaxed and secure and excited about his new routine and skills.  How much she cares about dogs comes across and you can tell she really wants to help.”

    – K. Turner

    Steph, Dylan, & King

    “We are thrilled with how far King has come!

    King is a rescue from the Toronto Humane Society and we got him a little over a month ago. He’s about a year and a half and to say he’s full of energy is an understatement. When we first got him we were told he was very dog aggressive, and probably wouldn’t do well in a condo.

    Enter Stephanie – Within the first few minutes of meeting her we knew she was perfect for us. She’s extremely knowledgeable, confident, and you can just tell she loves dogs. She was very patient with the 3 of us and gave us confidence in our training. Without Stephanie we would have never realized how smart King is, and how much potential he has. “

    – Steph, Dylan & King!

    Tom and Deborah

    “A year after our private sessions with Andre, our beagle Jake sits on our front porch and watches dogs walk by without aggression — dogs that used to set him off on sight at any distance. We continue to use food rewards on walks and have reduced fear-aggression responses to a rarity. He no longer guards the porch when the postman, delivery people or friends approach. Can’t tell you how grateful we are for Andre’s sound advice.”

    – Tom and Deborah

    Lauren R.

    “We had an absolutely fantastic experience here. When we adopted our dog, Corky, she didn’t even know her name and didn’t know any commands. By the end of the Foundations Skills Class she knows a ton — how to sit, lay down and even go to bed! Most of all, the trainers gave us the skills and knowledge to train Corky on an ongoing basis. The trainers are awesome and always give individual feedback about your dog. Corky had a blast going to class.”

    – Lauren R

    Lauren K.

    “My husband and I took the Puppy Start Right classes with our pup when we first got him. Two years later I still think it’s the best thing we’ve done so far as pet “parents”. In addition to teaching him the basics and teaching us how to properly train our pup, I think the early socialization made a huge difference in terms of how he interacts with other dogs. We take him to doggy daycare a few times a week and every time we pick him up the staff comments on how good he is with other dogs (even the ones who don’t typically play well with others).
    The classes at When Hounds Fly were fun, informative and taught us how to train our dog instead of just focusing on teaching obedience and tricks. If you have a new puppy, I highly recommend the Puppy Socialization class.”

    – Lauren K

    What’s It Cost?

    (January 1, 2022)

     A private lesson package (Two lessons of 90 minutes and 60 minutes, and 30 minutes budgeted for post-lesson writeup/material and support) ranges from $330 (instructor) to $396 (senior instructor) to $528 (for our most experienced instructor) plus HST.

    Please note, for new clients, we require payment in advance to finalize your appointment bookings.

    For details regarding class/training policies, please see our Policy page:

    Okay, I’m Ready to Book!