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virtual dog training text with goldendoodle

Does your dog have any unusual behavior?

This behavior may be “usual” in your home. Our dogs are our children, and we accept and love them, even with all of their quirks!

But when Elliott started trying to attack the TV, we knew it was time to call in an expert.

I (Nicole) have worked with Janet Cutler before, so we knew her background and expertise.  

After a very detailed questionnaire and interview with Janet, we found out that there were certain commercials on TV that bothered Elliott, and we were able to make some changes to help him feel safe and secure. 

After Janet worked with Elliott and helped us, we knew we had to bring her on the show and share her tips with y’all.

You’re going to be fascinated to learn more about animal behavior, what causes unusual behavior, what your animal’s behavior may be trying to tell you, and how you can work with a virtual animal behavior specialist to help your dog adjust well to the busy world all around.

Highlights of this episode:

  • Nicole introduces Janet Cutler, animal behavior consultant and dog trainer.
  • Janet got into the field after she earned her master’s degree and then her PhD, but what really drove her to become an animal behavior specialist was her experience with her own dog.
  • What is the difference between a behavior specialist and your normal veterinarian? Janet explains all.
  • Nicole and Travis called Janet in when Elliott started attacking the TV. They opted for an online consultation, with homework and follow up.
  • “Most problems with dogs are fear-based.” -Janet
  • Are you going to have a new baby soon? Make sure you prepare your dog for the upcoming changes! Kids can be scary for dogs, and require adjustments.
  • When you work with a behavior specialist, you learn how to read your dog’s behavior, to know when they are uncomfortable. The specialist also teaches you how to understand the root cause of behavior issues.
  • Be ready to put in the work: when you work with a virtual behavior specialist, that means that you are signing up for doing all the work! They can teach you the techniques, but you have to do the work to see improvement and results.
  • Find a specialist who believes in positive reinforcement rather than punishment.
  • Do your research, and make sure that you are working with someone who knows what they are doing! Ask for references, review their website, and if they are local, go visit. 

About Janet Cutler

Janet earned an MSc, and then a PhD at the University of Guelph, where she learned all about animal behaviour and welfare. Valuable lessons learned include what motivates animals, how they learn, how emotions drive behaviour, and how to assess their behaviour and welfare. She has received a Certified Professional Dog Training certification (CPDT-KA) and is working towards receiving a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist designation. Janet also is doing research on puppy socialization and how that affects behaviour later in life, while consulting with pet owners to help them improve their relationship with their pets.

Connect with Janet Cutler

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Produced by Nicole and Travis Saunders