Opportunities for Choices

“I can see her making choices.”

During a training session, a client made this observation.

His dog was able to disengage from someone approaching which is usually a very exciting situation leading to his dog jumping up on the person.

Instead, with an established reinforcement history, she made a different choice of looking back at my client even when she started to become a little excited.

She also had her needs met of getting attention from one of her favorite humans.

Teaching your dog what you want sets your dog up for making choices in her environment.

The choices you want are established through a strong reinforcement history.

You go through each step at a time.

Building your dog’s self control capabilities.

As you begin seeing what your dog is offering as something of value, you can quickly signal the value to your dog.

Being patient, waiting for the environment to change, observing what your dog is communicating through the changes of your dog’s body language, you can then become aware what your dog is offering and begin seeing your dog making the choices you want.

The choices of looking at you, looking away from the trigger will inhibit the emotional response of the barking and lunging out of fear or frustration will be replaced because your dog is feeling safe in the



When your dog is relaxed, your dog can offer the choices of staying engaged with you.

Engagement with you, is the goal.

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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