No one gets a dog anticipating problems.

It is very frustrating dealing with behavior problems that try your patience and/or cost you more and more money all the time! Whether your dog is destroying your belongings (chewing on rugs, furniture, drywall), not coming when called, is struggling with socialization, aggression, reactivity, anxiety or is a rescue dog trying to learn the way of their new world we can help!

All dog owners communicate with their dogs every day, but that doesn’t mean their dogs clearly understands them. Humans can unintentionally give their dog mixed signals that set them up for misunderstanding, which on the surface looks like the dog’s just choosing not to pay attention. All of these problem behaviors and miscommunication can be managed or completely eliminated, so let us show you how!

We want to give you back that loveable pet who used to make you smile all the time, before they started driving you crazy!

Raising Your Puppy

It is very frustrating dealing with behavior problems that try your patience and cost you money!

It is crucial that we raise our pups right from the get go. The beginning of their life is the most influential period in its entirety!

If you are thinking about making a furry family member the next new addition to your family but dreading the stress it will put on your family going through the puppy stages?

If you’re considering adding a furry family member to the household, but are worried about the impact it can have on your family, as well as the dog, Training is the right way to go. If you’re unsure about which dog to choose, or have already selected one and want to make sure they are a positive part of our human-canine society, we would love to help!

Having a puppy is not easy; it can be stressful, messy, and even painful (emotionally and physically!) when going through those early stages in life! With our assistance, we can help you learn how to influence your puppies mindset and lay the foundation for life. Behaviors such as housebreaking, chewing, digging, and anxiety can be prevented early on.  We can prevent so many of the behavioral issues that are common in older dogs in this early, fundamental stage of the pups life. Did you know that most adult dogs with behavioral issues developed them early on in life? Experiences from the time they are born until 16 weeks can last a lifetime and it is important that we get it right as early as possible!

Come and educate yourself, and your pup, in our Puppy Class, and set the whole family up for a positive, fun, and successful life together!

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Problem Solving

All dogs are designed to be productive and task oriented

Are you frustrated in dealing with your dog’s behavior problems? Do they test your patience? Are they costing you more money and hassle each day? Whether your dog is destroying your household items (rugs, furniture, clothing, etc), doesn’t recall reliably, has difficulty meeting and socializing with other dogs or humans, or is new to your family and just trying to understand their new lifestyle and environment, we are here to help!

Problem solving is crucial for peace of mind; for human and canine alike!. If your dog is practicing unwanted behaviors, such as chewing, barking, digging, or jumping (or any of the many others!) there is usually a reason. We will assist you in figuring out why they see doing it, help teach your dog more positive ways to use their mind, and show you how to maintain, and stay consistent with the new way of life.

Here at The Dog Wizard Louisville, we understand how you feel when your dog exhibits behavioral problems. The emotional stress adds up when your canine counterpart is acting out. Dogs love to use their brains and are designed to be productive and task oriented. In other words, they need a “job” in order to feel balanced. Through training, we will help you learn how to engage your dog’s mind, and in turn, help them form positive behaviors you both desire! We can help with impulse control, reactivity, relaxation, and melt away anxiety if we conduct our lifestyles in a way that works for all.

Our problem-solving approach combines 3 primary objectives:

Obedience- This will help you communicate effectively with your dog and ensure that your dog is responsive to your command.
Critical Thinking- This reaches your dog to become a better decision maker on their own, which gives you peace of mind, and allows you to trust your dog in a way that doesn’t require micro-managing.
Relaxation- The relaxation exercises help dogs learn to self soothe and helps alleviate anxiety, reactivity, and high energy related issues.

When your dog understands how to make better decisions and learns to like listening, we create a bond of trust and communication! When both parties know what to do, the results are truly incredible!

Be proactive in creating the relationship you want with your dog; the freedom and lifestyle you always wanted will follow! It’s a win for the whole family.

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Socialization

Socialization is the key component to having a balanced dog

Socialization is the key component to having a balanced dog.

Our dogs by nature have social desires that need to be met but all socialization is not always good socialization. Whether it is proper socialization at a young age, or your dog needing to learn appropriate social skills to be in a pack, or teaching coping skills for a dog with social anxieties or fear of other dogs we are here to help!

Socialization is a fundamental part of what we do to help you and your dog on the way to a balanced life. Dogs need plenty of physical exercise as well as mental exercise in order to feel balanced and productive. It is so crucial for young dogs to learn the skills to understand that not ever dog wants them all in their face. Learning how to have good manners with ALL kinds of temperaments may save your dog from harm in the real world.

Our “recipe for success” includes combining meeting social needs and understanding that all dogs are designed to be productive and task oriented. In other words, they need a “job” in order to feel balanced.  By engaging our dogs mentally and teaching them to process information, perform desired behaviors, and use some impulse control, and teach proper and successful social interaction we are able to build a relaxed, well behaved dog that is a positive part of your life.

You will be amazed at how much happier your dogs will be when they are using their brains and their needs are being met!

Owners, in turn, feel happier when they have a reliable dog who is fun to be around.  Who wouldn’t rather include their dog in their lives instead of having to leave them home or locked away because they are unmanageable?  We can help you have the dog you have always wanted who is polite to your guests, can be calm in a hectic environment, and knows that with obedience comes more freedom!

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Rescue Rehab

We work with every type of dog coming from every background imaginable, and this certainly includes rescue dogs!

In our Louisville Dog Training programs, we work with every type of dog coming from every background imaginable, and this certainly includes rescue dogs! We absolutely love rehabilitating these dogs, whose backgrounds may be completely unknown, so that they can become part of a loving family. Dogs are truly resilient, so most of their problems can be resolved once they have some structure, obedience, and compassionate attention. Whether your rescue dog is under-socialized and nervous, recovering from an abusive environment, or just wild and out of control, we can help!

Abused Dogs

Rescue dogs who have been abused need to learn how to trust humans again. Whether the abuse was physical or mental (resulting from neglect and under-socialization), these dogs are typically afraid of the world and everything in it. It can be very difficult to even get these dogs out just to walk them for exercise because their fear issues make it impossible. Once a bond with their new owners is established, it may become so strong that these dogs cannot cope with being alone. Their entire sense of well-being becomes hinged on their proximity to their new “people”, making it difficult to leave them alone for even short periods of time. Once these types of dogs begin to gain some confidence through a structured obedience program, they can start to see the world as an exciting and interesting place. We get a lot of joy out of restoring these neglected or abused dogs to the trusting and faithful creatures they were intended to be.

Bouncing of The Wall Dogs

A different result of poor socialization can be the wild and crazy dog who is bouncing off the walls and lacking in all self-control. These are the dogs who have gone from one home to the next, always ending up back in the shelter because no one can manage or put up with them. These dogs drive people mad by bolting and running away, destroying everything in the house, dragging people around at full speed when on leash, and going insane every time they see another dog or human. These are the dogs that, sadly, end up living in their crates because people do not know how to deal with them. The reality is that these dogs have learned that all attention comes from bad manners. It is our job to show them that the OPPOSITE is actually true! Through our Charlotte obedience training programs, we teach these dogs how to use their brains to make better choices, exercise impulse control, and see that much better things come from good manners!

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Aggression Rehab

In all cases of aggression, we begin by assessing “why” your dog is behaving aggressively.

Aggression is just as stressful for dogs as it is for dog owners! Since dogs have the same goal as humans- to get through each day with as little stress as possible- we owe it to them and to ourselves to help them resolve these issues. Aggression is not a natural state of mind for a dog, but rather, the result of negative experiences, frustration, fear, or lack of socialization. Sometimes it is a combination of these things, creating an even more complex issue. In all cases of aggression, we begin by assessing “why” your dog is behaving aggressively.

Below we have outlined several types of aggression that we deal with regularly and can work towards correcting. In all aggression cases, we require that the owners actively commit to following our guidelines and instructions following our Louisville training program. There are some forms of aggression, “predatory aggression” for example, that you cannot “solve” because it is directly linked to instincts. You may, however, be very successful in managing these instincts by teaching your dog impulse control and allowing appropriate outlets to use their prey drive.

Types of Aggression in Dogs

The most common forms of aggression we deal with are Fear Aggression (includes People and Children Aggression), Dog Aggression, and Predatory Aggression. People commonly misinterpret aggression and use incorrect labels when explaining it like, “my dog hates children” or “my dog hates other dogs”. Dogs do not react because they “hate” so much as they are responding from fear, possessiveness, or territorial instincts. In these situations it is key that we properly reassign the leadership role to the humans (instead of the dog) so that the dog does not carry the burden of making such stressful decisions! It is amazing how significantly strong leadership can alter a dog’s need to be reactive in stressful situations. When a dog understands that its human is advocating for him and will manage high stress situations, we begin to see the dog making better choices and feeling calmer.

Type Symptoms Cause Common
Fear Reacts when backed into a corner, reacts when people do something unpredictable, does not like it when people move fast or are loud, likes to sneak behind people to bite Poor socialization, lack of socialization Very common
Prey Fixates on animals (usually small), becomes very still when fixating, may drool when fixating Instincts, lack of mental stimulation Common
Territorial Possessive of areas where they spend a lot of time Instincts, long periods of time in one area, lack of mental stimulation Common
Dog Acts aggressively toward dogs that seem to pose zero threat Poor socialization, lack of socialization Very common
Children Acts aggressively toward smaller individuals Poor socialization, lack of socialization Common
Human Acts aggressively toward strangers Poor socialization, lack of socialization Common
Possessive Reacts unpredictably toward certain people or dogs that approach a specific owner Improper sense of entitlement, lack of leadership, lack of mental stimulation Common
Food or Toy Dog becomes very still and stiff when someone or another dog approaches with certain objects Instincts, history with food, lack of leadership Less common
Maternal Mother dog will become aggressive toward anyone or anything approaching her babies Instincts Very common
Pain Dog may bite when faced with pain, dog may act aggressive as a result of bad thyroid or bladder infection Medical issue Very common
Punishment Acts aggressively when expecting punishment Improper punishment from human Less common

Dog Aggression Is Common

Dog aggression is very common in today’s society.  A lot of dogs will react toward a dog that has posed zero threat.  This does not necessarily mean your dog is “dog aggressive”.  In most cases the dog does not have social skills, which is a lot easier to work through than a true dog to dog aggression. Since aggression is NOT a natural state of mind for a dog, nor are dogs born aggressive something has shaped this behavior.  Nine times out of ten it is related to either lack of socialization or poor socialization which resulted in a dog making a “generalization” or an “overall negative association” with something due to one or two bad experiences.

An example of this type of aggression would be a puppy that was attacked by an adult dog at an early age (say 12 weeks) and this just happened to be the 3rd dog it had met. Because of this “scary attack” the owners started “sheltering the puppy” keeping it away from other dogs for fear that he would be attacked again. So, what happened was the puppy had only met three dogs in his life and one attacked him.  The puppy grows up thinking: “there is a very good chance when I meet another dog I could be attacked”.  This puppy has a very high probability of being dog aggressive when he is older, but this will not show until he is about a year and half old. What the owner should have done is gone overboard finding as many friendly dogs as possible to introduce to their puppy to “outweigh” that one negative experience with the dog that attacked. If this puppy met 125 friendly dogs after that one bad experience chances are he will have forgotten about that negative one long ago and not develop an “anxiety” around other dogs.

Many dog owners don’t realize that social skills are something most dogs need to continue practicing throughout their life.  You really can never stop socializing you dog in order to keep their skills fully fresh. We hear a lot of owners say their dog used to get along great with other dogs, and for some reason they hate other dogs now, this is usually a case of a dog whose social skills have not stayed “current” or “fresh”.  For some dogs, social skills have to be practiced very frequently in order to be good with other dogs. Keep in mind too, social skills are required to communicate with “strange” dogs, not dogs they know or see all the time.  If you are getting your dog around the same dogs all the time, that is not practicing social skills.

Because of lack of or poor social skills, most aggression is fear based (even though it can look the exact opposite). Even if your dog is the “initiator”, chances are he is still reacting out of fear or feeling uncomfortable. A great deal of aggressive dogs go on offense before they have to be on defense, and because it works for them, they continue reacting this way to solve the problem of “feeling uncomfortable”. What we have to do is find a different way to solve your dog’s problem and make them more comfortable in the situation from the start. Aggression is NOT a natural state of mind for a dog.  No dog wants to feel this way – they are looking for a way out – and we can help them.

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Separation Anxiety

One of the most common issues we see in dogs and it is one that will rarely solve itself.

Separation anxiety is one of the most common issues we see in dogs and it is one that will rarely solve itself. As pack animals by nature, when a member of the pack goes “missing” a dog feels extreme anxiety. In order to cope with this anxiety, a dog turns to often destructive or high-stress habits. At the The Dog Wizard Louisville, we have the skills and knowledge to help your dog gain the self-confidence to be alone and feel secure.

Typical Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

  • Paces or pants constantly while you are out of sight
  • Destroys things when you’re gone
  • Whines or barks when left alone
  • Escapes or attempts to escape when left alone sometimes resulting in bodily harm
  • Urinates or defecates in the house while you’re away
  • Follows you from room to room when you are home

Typical Causes of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

  • Left alone for very long periods of time consistently
  • Taken away from the mother too soon (less than 7 weeks)
  • Mother died at birth and puppy was raised by humans
  • Very abrupt schedule changes in the owner’s life
  • Dog has spent a lot of time alone in his life then becomes rescued and it gets consistent attention from owners that it is not used to
  • Over held as a puppy so it never learned independence
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