Home / Canine Psychological Rehabilitation / Dog Behaviour Training Assessment Scale
Social behaviour

Dog Behaviour Training Assessment Scale

Introduction

Our Dogs, Our Selves

Most of us humans are not born leaders –  we must consciously work hard to acquire leadership skills  – the same is true for our canine companions.

We can become anxious and stressed in the absence of well-grounded structure and guidance – the mentoring that we require as individuals to become confident, stable beings.  The same is true for our dogs. Dogs thrive on structure. Dogs require physical and mental exercise, just as we do. Very few dogs are born leaders – most are born followers, which means that a dog is most comfortable when he /she has someone to rely on as a mentor and guide.

What Happened?

The most common trigger in the development of behavior problems is the lack of access to well-grounded mentoring and guidance. Sudden traumatic experiences can cause dog behavior problems. Poor diet can cause and contribute to dog behavior problems as can health issues that result from poor diet. Medicinal drugs can also trigger or add to behavioral problems.

Accumulated Effect

Behavior that seems inconsequential to the untrained eye, can lead to very big problems as issues can grow exponentially, resulting in very stressful incidents, for both the dog and the human. The seemingly inconsequential behavior may even be something that the human or the dog did, or did not acknowledge, see, sense, etc. But in-time the compounded consequences of the missed observation, missed guidance takes its toll.

A Simple Scale to Help You Understand Behavior Zones

Dog Behaviour Assessment Scale

Behavior Zones

Dog Behavior Scale Zone 3, Level 2Zone One is within a normal range of behavior where you simply want to ensure that healthy behavior is enabled and unhealthy behavior is not encouraged and/or does not develop.  Your puppy or dog should be happy and able to express a full range of emotions and activities without becoming anxious, stressed and otherwise reactive.

Zone Two represents the preliminary stage of adverse stress-induced behavior. Signs of insecurity, anxiety, obsession start to evidence. These type of behaviors develop due to a combination of factors including – lack of grounded structure, lack of other guidance, poor diet, traumatic events, etc.

Zone Three can occur due to a traumatic event or becasue the dog was not supported in staying within Zone One and once in Zone 2 appropriate and timely guidance was not provided – as a result escalation to Zone Two and then Zone Three occurs.

A dog that is in zone 2 or 3 is not a ‘bad dog’. A dog in zone 2 and 3 simply needs access to understanding and guidance.

Zone 1 – Low Intensity

Obedience Training Required

Dog Behaviour Scale Zone 1Zone 1 behaviors are typical of what you might expect from a puppy, teenage or adult dog who is fairly well-adjusted but does require that both you and your dog obtain some additional guidance and mentoring. By doing so you will ensure your dog acquires and maintains a normal, healthy range of behavior. You and your dog require assistance with obedience training.

A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:

  1. Counter surfing
  2. Constant pulling on the leash
  3. If you drop an item on the floor, your dog moves in and
    grabs the item before you can pick the object up
  4. Jumping up on people or other dogs to greet them
  5. Pushing past you through door ways
  6. Passing you as you go down the stairs
  7. Running out an open door without permission
  8. Poor recall
  9. etc.

For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 1 behavior you can read:

  1. Carmen the Chihuahua’s Bio
  2. Shanny the  Alaskan Malamute x German Shepherd’s  Bio

Zone 2 – Medium Intensity

Behavior Modification and Obedience Training Required

Dog Behavior  Scale Zone 1Zone 2  presents typical behaviors exhibited by puppy, teenage or adult dogs that are not getting the guidance needed to instill a sense of ‘normal’. In the absence of this guidance he/she is starting to escalate to higher levels of excitement on a regular basis in multiple situations throughout the course of a typical day. Your dog is not showing aggressive-reactivity, he/she is simply lacking boundaries, may be over exuberant and appears (to you) to be not ‘listening’ to you. You and your dog require assistance with behavior modification and obedience training.

A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:

  • Items as listed in Zone 1 or similar behavior…
    • Counter surfing
    • Constant pulling while on-leash
    • If you drop an item on the floor, your dog moves in and
    • grabs the item before you can pick the object up
    • Jumping up on people or other dogs to get to them and to greet them
    • Pushing past you through door ways
    • Poor recall
    • Passing you as you go down the stairs
    • Running out an open door without permission
    • Barking at people or other dogs when they pass by
    • Mild separation anxiety  – dog is not destructive, but is anxious when left alone
    • etc.
  • And one or more of the behaviors listed below or other similar behavior…
    • Dog exhibits insecurity, anxiousness – but not aggression, around specific inanimate or animate objects
    • Demanding – insists on getting attention  on demand
    • Intense pulling on the leash when your dog sees another dog, cat, squirrel, etc. – exhibiting excitement, but not aggressive-reactivity
    • Impulse to chase bicycles, cars etc.

For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 2 behavior you can read:

    1. Abby my Belgian Shepherd x German Shepherd’s Bio
    2. Stevie the Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) x Pomeranian’s Bio

Zone 3, Level 1 – High Intensity

Psychological Rehabilitation, Behavior Modification, Obedience Training Required

Dog Behavior Scale Zone 3Zone 3  presents typical behaviors exhibited by puppy, teenage or adult dogs that are not getting the guidance needed to instill a sense of ‘normal’. In the absence of this guidance he/she is frequently escalating to high levels of reactivity on a frequent and even constant basis. Your dog may be showing aggressive-reactivity, may appear to be ‘hyper active‘, appears (to you) to be not ‘listening’ to you – zones out. Your dog may be threatening to bite, may even have nipped, but has not actually bitten anyone (human or non-human animal). You and your dog require assistance with psychological rehabilitation, behavior modification and obedience training.

A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:

  • Items as listed in Zone 1 and Zone 2 or similar behavior…
    • Counter surfing
    • Constant pulling while on-leash
    • If you drop an item on the floor, your dog moves in and
      grabs the item before you can pick the object up
    • Jumping up on people or other dogs to get to them and to greet them
    • Pushing past you through door ways
    • Poor recall
    • Passing you as you go down the stairs
    • Running out an open door without permission
    • Dog exhibits insecurity, anxiousness – but not aggression, to the point of intentional biting
    • Demanding – insists on getting attention  on demand
    • Intense pulling on the leash when your dog sees another dog, cat, squirrel, etc. – exhibiting excitement, but not aggressive-reactivity
    • Impulse to chase bicycles, cars etc
    • Barking at people or other dogs when they pass by
    • etc.
  • And one or more of the behaviors listed below or other similar behavior…
    • Complete inability to settle down the majority of the time
    • Dog exhibits insecurity, anxiousness that comes across as aggression, around specific inanimate or animate objects
    • Demanding – insists on getting attention  on demand and frequently
    • Extreme separation anxiety
    • Intense pulling and vocalization on the leash when your dog sees another dog, cat, squirrel, etc. exhibiting excitement, but not aggressive-reactivity
    • May have obsessive compulsive disorder behavior (OCD)
    • Your dog is becoming acutely destructive even when you are home
    • Your dog is chewing/destroying your boots, shoes, furniture, wall molding, etc.
    • Your dog is destroying his/her crate, chewing through drywall, doors, etc.
    • Your dog is injuring his/her self
    • Starting to be possessive / guarding – food, toys, space, people, your dog ‘owns’ you or another family member, etc.
    • Intense ‘play’ with other dogs that borders on aggression
    • Behaving in a dominating fashion with other dogs
    • Pestering, bullying and not respecting your cats 0r other non-canine animals
    • etc.

For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 3 – High Intensity behavior you can read:

  1. Tasha the Australian Shepherd’s Bio
  2. Jordie the Alaskan Malamute x German Shepherd’s Bio

Zone 3, Level 2 – Red Zone (over threshold)

Psychological Rehabilitation, Behavior Modification, Obedience Training Required

Dog Behavior Scale Red ZoneZone 3  – Red Zone presents typical behaviors exhibited by puppy, teenage or adult dogs that are not getting the guidance needed to instill a sense of ‘normal’. In the absence of this guidance he/she is escalating to high levels of aggressive reactivity resulting in biting and other injuries. Your dog may  appear to be ‘hyper active‘, appears (to you) to be not ‘listening’ to you – ‘zones out’, fixates and gets into a state-of rage. You and your dog require assistance with psychological rehabilitation, behavior modification and obedience training.

A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:

  • Items as listed in Zone 1, 2 and 3 above or similar
  • Plus the following or similar behavior

For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 3 – Red Zone behavior you can read:

  1. Robbie the Boxer x Pit Bull’s Bio
  2. Sarah the German Shepherd x Siberian Husky’s Bio
  3. Buddy the American Cocker Spaniel’s Bio

 

 

 

About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

Check Also

Ottawa Dog and Puppy Training - Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Ottawa Dog Puppy Training Aggressive, Anxious, Insecure Dogs

Dog and Puppy Training for Aggressive, Anxious and Insecure dogs – sessions in home available …

4 comments

  1. Good evening, my name is Vedonna Sutton. I have 2 dachshunds an English Labrador at 21 months, and a Labrador mix at 3 years. Lil Anne. She is 1/3 Labrador, 1/3 German Shepherd, 1/3 Staffordshire Bull . I had her DNA ran when after using 2 seperate trainers she just has become more aggressive. I would put my life in her paws anytime no questions. I have faith in her. This Summer we went to the mountains on our normal vacation and she was more aggressive than ever. It turned out the cabin was in the back yard of a bear sanctuary and they crossed through the yard to the river every night and back by dawn. She had seen bears before. But the smell for her being the Alpha of the pack must of been too much. I invited my.parents also. Between the normal arguments of my parents and raised voices which none ofy dogs like, no one raised their voice in my house if you need to , you go do it outside. It upsets the dogs. Lil Anne attacked Sunshine on vacation this past Summer. She following my mother who was yelling at me to get up , late for trout fishing, and Sunshine was right beside me. Sunny is a 9 years old dachshund who loves to run and swim. Lil Anne grabbed her around her left shoulder and released when I said but she stepped on her afterwards. Thats where the damage came in. By the time I had gotten back to Charlesto, SC area and she had the surgery I was deep in for 8000. I am currently working with Lil Anne to try and get the right herb to help calm her nerves settle her. She had allergies so she eats single source protein foods. She is on Acana the wild Atlantic currently. I switched her from lamb and apples trying to figure out the skin irritation which is mainly on her paws and right above up on her ankles and forearms. She doesnt scratch anymore. I give her zymox baths weekly. She swims whenever she.feels the need. All treats are gluten and grain free. SHE HATES IT WHEN YOU TOUCH HER LEGS. SHE GROWLS. I KNOW SHE WILL NOT BITE ME BUT SHE HAS GOTTEN WORSE IN GROWLING KUST WHEN THE OTHERS WALK BY HER WHEN SHE IS LAYING DOWN. Spend more time with her, seperate my time so all get quality time with ME and then time together . I have followed every rule placed in front of me. I started.taking her to a.different Vet, Holistic. She helped her a lot. The food was a.big deal. Now she.can eat with normal.stools. Her teeth chatter she does this when she is nervous or not sure what she is to suppose to do. Fireworks, we can never go out she can open her crate and im not sure what she would do. Storms the worst, she jumped the gate a few nights back and came to my bed to lay on the floor practically underneath me. She loves frisbee, she is great, she loves to jump.and run. They suggested I put her on Prozac. Im not convinced, to be honest. I want to help her, not put a bandaid on it. Ive started researching into herbs licorice, cleavers, skullcap, and something that can almost completely calm a 90 pound dog to do nails they want to sedate them at the vet every 2 weeks. Not a.fan of that either. They will let you play with their paws all you want, till they see the clippers. My #1 priority is Lil Anne. Her skin is what I think makes her so grouchy at times, and her uncertainty, her nervousness that energy is what makes her or.can make her become a very violent dog. I would do anything for my girls ask any of my.Vets. The trainers. Ive used a animal communicator Debbie, im at my last resort with no.idea what to do. Have no.idea where you are at located. But can you help? Im a.retired veteran but if I have.to take out a.loan to save her then I will.

  2. We have a shelter dog that came to live with us 7 months ago. She is a quiet but also playful 14 month old. We just adopted another shelter dog estimated to be 2 yrs old. We are experiencing some aggressive behavior between the two dogs. I was told by a local dog trainer to return the 2 yr old to the shelter but I feel like there must be a better solution. Can you help?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *