Paw-in-Hand Workshop 2014 Updates!!

A successful 1st workshop! As tiring as everyone was, I hope everyone enjoyed and learn a lot.

photo 1Friday & Saturday session. Cozy, relax and interactive session.

photo 2Sunday’s practical session.

photo 4Heidie the Corgi cross is an anti-social dog. She lunges at other dogs when in sight and walking pass. With positive conditioning session on socialisation, she cross her threshold step-by-step. Still lots of practice for her owner, Josephine one of the attendee.

photo 3Certificate presentation. Look at the smiles on their tired faces 🙂 It was a long and mental stimulating workshop for all 😉

Eyo & Toshi – Love, Hate Relationship

photo6-23
Working with Ezra from The Dog Behaviourist was a really positive experience for both our dogs and us as the owners as well. Ezra didn’t just leap-in and enforce rules blindly, he took the time to get to understand us and our situation, and customized a training plan based on our needs. We were particularly firm in our desire to only use positive training methods, and this was a perfect fit with Ezra’s style.

photo7He also helped us as dog owners – helped us understand them, how dogs learn, and the role we play in their development, their confidence and their happiness.

We had two different dogs with different challenges.

image (7)One was a 6 month old puppy, super excited and lovely but in need of some boundaries.

photo15The other was much older and very smart and obedient, but also very nervous and wary of strangers and her new little brother being in the house.

photo9With Ezra’s guidance we now have a much more peaceful home, with a well behaved but still very fun young boy, and the older girl is now much more accepting of his presence and they even play together and sleep in the same place.

B.

Chuck, the Prey Obsessor

Hi this is Lynnette here and I just wanted to leave a testimonial about Soubhik.

I volunteer with SOSD (Save Our Street Dogs) and have had the opportunity to work with Soubhik on a couple of occasions with a couple of the SOSD dogs with behavioural issues.

One of which was a JRT, Chuck, that had been abandoned (previous owner probably didn’t know how to train the little guy). The dog is now with a fosterer who might potentially adopt him.
Chuck
Chuck would show aggression toward other dogs (even cats) and when he is in that fixated zone, the fosterers are unable to control him. They can’t even distract him or pull him away from his “target” and have been bitten more than a couple of times. Chuck has also bitten a few dogs in the process.

Soubhik did a house call at the fosterers’ home and spent some time to assess Chuck in the home and on his walk. He then explained why Chuck -was behaving the way he was – he was insecure and full of frustration. He needed a strong leader to show him the way, and a proper channel to release his energy. Soubhik broke down the process from being in the home, to putting him on leash, to walking out the door, to finally approaching other dogs/cats – and demonstrated how without having to say much, your body language can tell the dog so much. When we went downstairs and Chuck approached a neighbour’s dog, Soubhik demonstrated how to allow Chuck to approach the dog without aggression. And it was perfect! Chuck did not bite the dog!
Chuck 2
I found Soubhik’s methods very useful, simple and effective for any pet owner to master. I believe a good trainer is not just one that can handle a dog himself, but one that is able to coach and teach the dog owner to be able to handle their dog. I have definitely gained much from Soubhik and will be applying them on my own dogs!

**Emailed by Lynnette herself. No editing involved.

Snowy, The Insecure & Unsure Maltese

Hi Jeremy, thanks for coming to my house to rehabilitate my maltese, Snowy. He have learnt fast and behaved exceptionally well. Although he needs more training from the owner, you have done a marvelous job in rehabilitating him. I was amazed when you made him ignored other dogs that are barking at him! I will continue to emphasize on those training you have taught me like power recall and rules, boundaries and limitations. Thank you very much!

-Tyler

Jeremy: Thank you Tyler for your kind words, all the best for your continuation for being Snowy’s calm owner! Just remember to practise your thoughts 🙂

Honey, The Nipping Maltese

Firstly, would like to thank Ezra for having to accommodate my dates and last minute changes. He is a very polite, honest and patient dog behaviourist who will make an effort to get to know you and your dog well before the sessions so as to better propose a program that will suit both owner and dog. He is reliable and will answer to your queries as soon as he can. His program comes in a 2 full-day package which involves the observation of dog behaviour and owner reaction on Day 1, and for Day 2, hands-on for owner to handle the dog under different situations.

Day 1: He did a thorough observation of Honey’s reaction under different situations which included barking at strangers outside and inside of the house. He is able to explain the stance and posture that Honey makes when she is barking which allows me to understand her better and what to look out for. E.g yawning when alert does not mean she is sleepy etc. He is focused and calm when dealing with an overly excited and sometimes controlling dog, and I realised that this helped a lot especially to calm her down which also lessened the barking and anxiety that she felt. He also drew out some explanations to help me to understand the cause of her behaviour and what should be done to curb her bad habits.

Day 2: He did a step by step procedure on how to achieve the desired outcome from Honey. He was patient with me as I was flustered and did not know what to do at times as I was still trying to control the situation. At times he will remind me to “be calm” and to “take deep breaths” in order to create a more relax environment for Honey to sense. After a few hours of practice, I could see an immediate improvement when I brought Honey down for her walk; she was no longer pulling me and dashing around. Ezra need not be there for her to be a good girl, and I realised that I had to first control my thinking and emotions before I can control my dog.

Also, I would like to thank Jeremy for making his way down to “volunteer” as a stranger so that Honey and I can have an opportunity to learn together. He appears as an extremely calm and friendly guy and that really helped me to calm down a lot and to be more confident of myself because I know that even if Honey accidentally bites him, he will understand. 🙂

Overall, I would say that Honey has shown some signs of improvement (even though she is already 7 this year) and I feel more confident in controlling her. Ezra has shown me that Honey is capable of changing for the better and to give her a chance to learn. Also would like to thank him for the training leash and treats which I believe will help me a lot during my trainings with Honey.

Geraldine

 

From Ezra: Honey is slowly learning her new boundaries. With consistency, positive reinforcements and leading her firmly, Honey will definitely change for the better. Geraldine is doing a good job by being patient with Honey as both human and dog learn how to understand one another’s body language. Looking forward to the follow up session with Geraldine and Honey in 1.5 months time.

Charcoal, the Miniture Schanuzer

We have a male schnauzer that is both people and dog aggressive.

Whenever family members come home, he will bark continuously until he is done. If any guest comes by, he will charge and bark furiously. Taking him out for a walk was really enjoyable as he walks well on leash. However, the experience will change within a second whenever any dog comes into sight. He will lunge and bark aggressively even if the dog is across the street.

We have been researching for a trainer to help us on these issues and found the dog behaviorist, Mr. Ezra. We wrote to him and he responded promptly on our highlighted issues by explaining potential triggers or behaviors that we may have nurtured wrongly. We spoke to Mr. Ezra and decided to engage his professional help as we needed practical assistance and guidance.

During our 1st session, we focused on both the barking and charging issues with family members and guests. Mr. Ezra was really calm and respectful towards our dog. He observed how we handled the situation when he came in and showed us how we can manage the situation better using “lure & reward” method. We did a few scenarios with family members and a friend. Consistency and remaining calm were the two key takeaways. Mr. Ezra also shared that we can put some pure lavender oil on our dog’s bed as it has a calming effect.

For the subsequent weeks, we continued to apply what we had learned and were heartened at the overall improvement of our dog’s barking at both the family members and guests.

In our 2nd session with Mr. Ezra, we focused on the dog to dog aggression issue.

Mr. Ezra brought his dog, a Whippet cross Husky name Vogue, to assist with the rehabilitation. We started with a walk outside the house. Mr. Ezra showed us how to use the leash to manage and correct our dog by changing direction fast and walking away. There were no harsh corrections. After a few rounds of corrections, our dog started to understand that nothing bad had happened whenever he walked pass a dog.

Mr. Ezra shared that it is important to remain calm and confident and there should not be any tension on the leash. We were amazed at how comfortable our dog was with his dog as they rested within close proximity. Mr. Ezra was always ready to listen and would follow up on our progress. He readily shares his experience and knowledge and never rushed through the rehabilitation sessions. He is highly professional and we were very comfortable with him. We look forward to bringing our dog to his dog centre for more socialization.

Augustine the Golden Retiever that is no more in a shelter, but an awesome home!

We recently adopted Augustine, a 7-8 years old Golden Retriever from Metta Cats. Augustine is a lovely boy but we needed some guidance in terms of setting boundries with August and basically making sure that we were doing the right things. My husband and I had met Ezra Koh a few weeks before we adopted August and we knew that he was different from so many people who claim to understand dog psyche. So we invited Ezra to visit us and guide us with August. Just one session with Ezra and we can immediately see the difference. Ezra is intstinctive, genuine, honest and most importantly very specific in his instructions. Thanks to Ezra, August is no longer peeing in the house, he is happy to have some time alone and most of all we can now sleep in peace knowing that we are doing the right thing for August. Thank you Ezra for your help! You are a natural!

Cheers,

Kanchan Angural Mistry and Samir Mistry

Scooter the Maltese that bites dog on his walks

My boyfriend and I adopted a male Maltese who was left behind when his expatriate owners returned to their home country in late May.  The Maltese was estimated by the dog rescuers to be approximately five to six years old and is sterilized.  His name is Scooter.

Other than my boyfriend and myself, we have a helper in the apartment and a 9-year old male Westie whom we adopted three years ago.

During the first week when Scooter was with us, his temperament was generally alright.  Other than being a little playful with our Westie, he was quite easy to handle and he seemed to be settling into his new home well.  We did notice he was quite jittery and jumpy during this time period with us but we thought it was normal as he had just come into a new environment which is unfamiliar to him.  However, after about more than two weeks with us, we started to notice a change in Scooter’s behaviour…

Whenever we walked Scooter (together with our Westie) around our estate, he would bark non-stop whenever he sees other dogs.  No matter how we tried to reprimand him and/or tugging at his leash, it would take a long time before he would stop.  As we know most of the dog owners in our estate as they and their dogs play with our Westie often, we were very dismayed when we tried to let Scooter socialize with these other dogs and Scooter became aggressive towards them.  He did not only bark but even tried to bite some of them.  The situation became so bad that our helper was afraid to continue to walk Scooter and our neighbourly dog owners had started to shun us.

At this point in time (Scooter has been with us for more than three weeks), we knew we had to solve the problem quickly as we did not want Scooter’s aggressive behaviour to escalate further but we were at a loss as to what to do.  I contacted one of the volunteers (from the dog rescuers’ group where I adopted Scooter from) and asked for her advice.  She was very surprised that Scooter’s behaviour had become so aggressive and she advised us to engage a dog trainer to help.  She gave me Ezra’s contact number and I called him right away and made an appointment for the upcoming Sunday morning.

Ezra (a dog behaviourist as introduced over the phone) came to our apartment that Sunday late morning.  He was quick to assess our dogs’ behaviour as he entered our door (especially Scooter).  We spent the first session with Ezra filling him with information about Scooter and how his behaviour had changed dramatically over the past three weeks or so.  Ezra also spent about an hour outdoors with us teaching us the right way to discipline and walk Scooter and our Westie together.  He taught us to use a proper leash instead of harness as dogs tend to pull and lunge with harnesses.  We encountered one of our neighbour’s Westie that afternoon and Ezra was able to see and observe Scooter’s aggressive behaviour towards that Westie.  He firmly alleviated Scooter’s aggressiveness and showed us the right way to stop Scooter’s barking and attempts to bite other dogs.  After the outdoor training, we went back to our apartment where Ezra explained in detail his assessment of Scooter’s change in behaviour.  Through his explanation, we came to understand a lot of things which we were not aware of about dog behaviour.  Ezra also explained to us about setting boundaries for our dogs within the apartment.  The whole first session took about 2.5 hours.  We scheduled the second appointment for the following Friday.

During the week before the next scheduled appointment with Ezra, we tried what Ezra had taught us during the first session and we were very happy that Scooter’s behaviour gradually changed for the better!  Not only did the training session help Scooter, we even noticed a good change in our Westie’s style of walking.  Scooter also started to become more calm and relaxed as compared to the initial weeks when he was quite skittish.

For the second session, Ezra brought along one of his dogs to help in teaching Scooter the right way to behave around other dogs.  It was an exhilarating experience as we witnessed how Scooter really learnt to “respect” another dog.  After just a couple of minutes of meeting Ezra’s dog, Scooter was alright to walk alongside with him and behaved well!

After about 45 mins outdoors, we went back to our apartment where Ezra observed how we set the boundaries to our dogs whilst preparing their dinner.  During this time, Ezra spent another hour teaching us more about dog behaviour and how we continue our firm discipline with Scooter.

I am a dog lover and I have had dogs almost all my life, but it is through Ezra’s sessions that I have learnt so much about dogs things which I never would have known.  We are very happy with how everything turned out for Scooter as we did not want to give him up.  Ezra was definitely a big help and just after two sessions with our dogs and us, we have all learnt so much.  Now, my helper feels more confident in walking both of our dogs and Scooter is much better behaved.  Our Westie has also learnt the meaning of walking in packs.  At home, both of them have also learnt their “boundaries” and now we all just look forward to going home to two happy dogs and bringing them out for walks with more confidence.

I personally would like to thank Ezra for being so patient and spending the time he did to teach and share with us the right way of handling and disciplining dogs, their behaviour, the meanings behind their every movement and gesture and to show them how to respect and know who their leaders are.  Although our two sessions have ended, Ezra continues to keep in touch with us by texting us to find out updates about our dogs.

I would strongly recommend anyone who may (or may not) be facing negative issues with their pet dogs to seek help from someone like Ezra as an option to resolving the problems.  Instead of contemplating the idea of giving up their pets, seeking professional help from the right person will not only assist the dog owners but also lead to happier pets!

Christine J