Dog Behavior Training


Contact Us: (831) 359-6926

Santa Cruz, CA



  Dog Behavior Training is a system of different methods for rehabilitating negative behavior in dogs. The method(s) used is determined by an assessment of the dogs overall behavior and history.  Owners participation, patience, and determination are key for the process to work .

  If the Behavior issues are seriously negative Private Dog Training or Private Puppy Training are recommended in order to concentrate on the specific issues.

   We like to start off with a Relaxation and Defering Protocol. The Protocol is designed  to help a dog stay calm and steady when normally it would act out .   The Protocol can be used in conjunction with other treatment plans. The protocol was designed by Dr. Karen L. Overall. She’s a leading Behaviorist and Dog Trainer in the world.

The main methods used for Behavior Modification at Giovanna’s Dog Training are:

1. Desensitization

2. Counter-Conditioning (Classical Conditioning)

3. Behavior Adjustment Training

Training dogs Fearful or Reactive towards loud noises, fast movements, or barking dogs.


In this video a Counter-Conditioning process was previously used to help Duke through uncomfortable moments on walks. In this instance the noise was an Unexpected nail gun being used at construction site. Instead of reverting to his normal negative behavior he was taught an alternative. The alternative was to focus on handler during uncomfortable moments. This helped to lower his stress and grow into positive behaviors. In essence he needs to learn triggers don’t need to be scary or threatening.  In video Duke was voluntarily choosing to concentrate on me without any coaching. This is ideal for continued progress. Although not completely comfortable in video he made right decision for desired response. Over time he should get better.

Desensitization – is a method used to help a dog overcome a negative emotional response to an object or trigger. The process starts with exposure to the fearful object at an intensity the dog can handle. The proper distance is necessary in order to keep the dog at a threshold level it’s comfortable with.  The intensity should not produce a negative response. This method gradually increases the intensity of the fearful object as long as dog appears comfortable.

  Counter-Conditioning – is changing a negative emotional reaction into a pleasant Conditioned Emotional Response. We do this by Association.  In essence when one event predicts a pleasant second event the first event is then accepted with anticipation.  The association must be clear to the dog in question. In actual treatment the presentation of the low intensity trigger is followed by a pleasant Counter-Conditioning stimulus. The stimulus should be of high value to the dog. It could be a toy or food. The stimulus needs to be relevant to the dog.  If the dog is happily anticipating The C/C stimulus in the presence of the trigger we can slowly continue to a higher intensity and /or different version of the trigger.  This process is repeated until we can ascertain the behavior now is reliable.

Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) is done by using Functional Rewards. Dogs that feel threatened by people or other dogs normally want the objects to go away. They will act out enough to make that happen. In many cases if the threatened dog had an opportunity to flee it would. In this case the Functional Reward would be increase distance away from the threat.  You’ll be giving the dog what it wants. However, before backing the dog  away it must have learned to give the handler a postive response to a scary object.  The positive response could be something as simple as a head turn towards the handler. In this situation immediate eye contact would be great. In the beginning stage of this training the appropriate distance must be allowed in order to keep the subject’s stress level low. With stress level low a dog is more rationale and able to respond more appropriately.  training-aggressive-dogs 1

Grisha Stewart the originator of BAT gives these basic steps:

  •  Analyze to discover the Functional Reward of the problem area.
  • Expose to a subtle version of the trigger.
  • Wait for good choices from dog.
  • Mark with a word or clicker.
  • Give access to Functional Reward.
  • Give optional Bonus Reward if needed such as a toy or treats.

Giovannas Dog Training provides Private Dog TrainingGroup Dog Training, Private Puppy Training, Group Puppy Training, and Pet Sitting Service.  Happy Training.


Why wait when help is here for you.

For 10% discounts

Call: 831-359-6926