Miracle of Management




It’s important to understand the role that safe and humane management plays in helping to change behavior. Management comes in many forms but they all share one common purpose – to prevent your dog practicing undesirable or unsafe behavior while they learn to do something else.

An essential step in introducing management is making sure your dog is comfortable throughout. This can require some preliminary training to build a good association.

If you have a dog who struggles to cope around people, management might include installing baby gates or barriers to create safe spaces for your dog and prevent people from accessing these areas, or walking in remote locations to minimize exposure to strangers.

It can also include putting your dog on a lead if you are worried about them approaching something, masking noises that your dog finds stressful with other sounds or teaching your body sensitive dog to love wearing a muzzle for essential vet visits.

In the context of reactive behaviour it’s also important to note that management isn’t just about preventing your dog hurting or scaring those around them, it’s also about making sure your dog feels safe. Management goes both ways – it prevents your dog getting into situations they are not ready for, but it also prevents others from overwhelming your dog.

Sometimes management will be all you need to create a long term solution to your dog’s behaviour. Where it is easy to implement, reliable and prevents your dog feeling stressed, you may choose to continue using management indefinitely.

But remember if you are only managing behaviour, you are not directly addressing the root cause of your dog’s reactivity. Sometimes management can fail, so the most robust solution will often involve using management and training hand in hand. This way you can prevent your dog practicing reactivity, but also teach them new skills to help shift how they feel around their triggers and learn alternative behaviours.

There is never a one size fits all solution, but whatever your situation, kind and effective management will make a big difference.

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