Your dog isn't giving you a hard time, your dog is having a hard time.
Rover Rehab is a 2-week Board & Train available to clients who have completed our Complete Canine program. It's not only for dog's struggling with aggression, it's for all dogs and handlers who want to give their dog the best. From happy-go-lucky to aggressive, busy-bodies to timid dogs, each Board & Train is individually tailored making it a great learning experience for all dogs.
The truth is that serious behaviour problems, such as aggression, separation anxiety or even extreme friendliness, aren't just bad behaviour. It is usually an addiction.
Addiction is a disease of brain reward, motivation and memory. It affects neurotransmission and interactions within the reward structures of the brain.
It makes sense that all of the obedience training you've already done with your dog hasn't improved his behaviour troubles. You probably have a dog who can hold a Down-Stay command like a champ, but as soon as he sees another dog, he loses his mind. Or you exercise your dog before leaving him yet he still howls and destroys your house when you leave. You're left feeling frustrated and confused. You've tried everything! Why is he still doing this? WHY.
Meanwhile your dog is feeling proud of himself. That happy tail is wagging, his sweet ears are perked up and he has a goofy grin on his face.
The brain is pattern seeking and when he blew up at the dog walking past the house, he completed a pattern that has been established in his brain. Now that the pattern was completed, there was a release of dopamine and he is on a high, until he realizes how mad you are.
BUT, no matter now mad you get, no matter what type of reward you offer or what type of punishment you give, his brain still needs to complete that pattern. That pattern is what makes these bad behaviours an addiction.
The good news is addictions can be treated. Did you notice that we said treated and not cured?
That's because there is no 28-day cure for addictions. There is no cure.
Rehabilitation is the process of getting the problem under control. After rehab, lifelong management, maintenance and treatment are still necessary.
How does this relate to you and your dog?
Complete Canine gives you the skills and knowledge to help your dog but sometimes that isn't enough and you both need a break from each other.
Rover Rehab is a 2 week immersive program for your dog to live in-home with our canine behaviourist and a stable pack. This integrated canine behaviour therapy offers your dog a new environment and a clean slate to implement everything you have been working on with your dog through your Complete Canine program.
Rover Rehab is not exclusive to dogs struggling with aggression.
Rehabilitation is the act of restoring something to its original state, such as rehabilitating a forest. Or physiotherapy rehabilitation after an injury. It doesn't have to be associated with addictions but the premise is still the same; Rome wasn't built overnight. True rehabilitation is a long process, it is in-depth, individual and thoroughly planned. This is why our memberships include Packwalks and Socials, to ensure long-term support after you've completed your program.
Just like rehab for an alcoholic does not involve sending them to a bar and then punishing them for taking a drink, rehab for a dog is not about punishing their mistakes either (yes, their mistakes will be addressed but simply punishing them won't resolve the problem.)
Rehab is about providing a healthy environment that will allow the brain to create new thought patterns and build new neuropathways. It's a safe place to therapeutically work through problems and triggers and to learn a new skill set.
Here is just a little more information about addictions in people. It has some great information that you will find relevant to your dog.