At Active Creatures, our purpose is to restore happiness, harmony and calm for you & your dog.

Each treatment plan is developed with you & your dog in mind. We tailor the plan to complement your available time and lifestyle.  And we use reward-based methods to create lasting change for your dog.

Your dog's treatment plan starts straight away, with real time, practical exercises. This helps to maximise your dog's learning and speed up positive behavioural change.

Ready to Chat?

Managing a dog with behavioural problems can be stressful and worrying. Active Creatures can help.

For a no obligation phone consultation:

  • 1. Arrange a complimentary phone consultation

    Give us a call, send us an email or request a call back to arrange your
    complimentary phone consultation.

     

    In this consultation we're interested to hear more about your current situation; the behavioural problem/s your dog has been experiencing and the challenges you have been facing. We're also happy to have a chat with you about our service and the benefits to both you and your dog, should you decide to work with us.

     

    If you would like to work with Active Creatures, this consultation helps us understand the issues you have been experiencing, and is a prelude to booking in a behavioural treatment workshop.

    Call us 
  • 2. Book a behavioural treatment workshop

    Undertaking our behavioural treatment workshop will enable you to start helping your dog immediately, with carefully targeted strategies and techniques that aim to resolve your dog's behavioural problem/s.

     

    This follows the initial phone consultation and it's where Active Creatures will come to your home to meet you and observe your dog in its natural habitat, and explore the issues discussed during the phone consultation in more detail.

     

    The workshop typically runs for up to 3 hours and there are three key components, being the behavioural assessment, the development of a behavioural modification plan (or treatment plan) and the implementation and practice of the treatment exercises and techniques that bring about positive behavioural change in your dog. The entire approach is specific to the needs and requirements of your dog.

     

    The behaviour assessment is where we delve into the history and detail about your dog and it forms the basis of the treatment plan.

     

    Following this, the treatment plan will be designed during the workshop with your participation, so we can make an immediate start.

     

    We'll then work on the practical exercises together, and during this implementation phase you'll learn how these techniques bring about positive change in your dog more quickly.

     

    You are also provided with a personalised and specifically-targeted written treatment manual (plan) that follows what we put in place during the workshop. This can then be used as a reference guide to help implement the treatment strategies and techniques, following completion of the workshop.

    Book a workshop 
  • 3. Purchase optional treatment sessions

    Active Creatures offers the flexibility to purchase additional treatment sessions after the completion of the workshop.

     

    This provides us with more dedicated time and focus, so together we can continue to work with your dog on the treatment plan and practical exercises, to bring about lasting change.

     

    There are two options available:

    • purchase a single session/s
    • purchase a treatment block (a number of ongoing face-to-face sessions)

     

    Once booked, we'll schedule appointment times around your availability, between Monday - Saturday.

    Purchase now 

Benefits of working with Active Creatures

When you complete a behavioural treatment workshop with us, you will:

Learn why your dog has been behaving in a particular way, whether that's fearfulness, anxiousness, aggression or excitability.

Identify body language; those signs and signals exhibited by your dog that are directly attributable to a behavioural problem/s.

Implement the right behavioural treatment strategies and techniques that help to resolve your dog’s behavioural problem/s. This could involve separation related behaviour, fearful or anxious behaviour or some other form of reactivity.

Understand how to positively effect behavioural change in your dog using specific behavioural approaches and strategies.

Conduct tailored practical exercises with your dog, in real time, that allows your dog to learn and speed up their positive behavioural change.

Learn prevention methods to stop your dog developing another behavioural problem, or experience a relapse of the current condition.

Develop more confidence and knowledge to immediately identify a behavioural problem, and take the required action to resolve the issue before it worsens.

Ready to get started?

A special dog...

Active Creatures was approached to help a beautiful young female dog named Ouiser, who after a traumatic car accident, went missing for 24 hours and was recovering from the incident.

This is a remarkable & positive behavioural turnaround about a traumatised dog - literally too scared to leave her home - has been able to regain her confidence, rebuild her resilience and begin to enjoy her life again.

Information about Ouiser and the testimonial have been reproduced with the approval of Ouiser's owners.

PTST Puppy

"Ouiser was our fun loving puppy until we were hit by an out of control car one day while walking her.

She came out of her harness and bolted while we were injured.

Luckily she made her way back to us the next day but she was not the same pup anymore. She hated being outside and would lock up her legs and refuse to go for walks. All she wanted to do was go back inside, if we even got her out the door to begin with.

We have worked with Cam for a few months now and the change is incredible.

We have started to see her confidence come back and her little spark is well and truly lit again.

She still has some issues outside but I know that we can work through them now with the help from Cam.

It’s been amazing to watch her come back from this horrible trauma and start to enjoy herself again. Thank you so much Cam, you really have changed her and our life.

I recommend Active Creatures whole heartedly. They’ve done a brilliant job and we couldn’t be happier."

Active Creatures. What we specalise in

While Active Creatures can help dog owners address nearly all behavioural problems and issues that their dog is experiencing, we typically get approached by owners with dogs who are suffering from either one, or two of the following complex behavioural problem/s.

Namely, these are:

Separation Related Behaviour

(also referred to as Separation Anxiety or SRB), and

Dog Fear Based Reactivity

It’s common for a dog to be experiencing both conditions simultaneously.

Separation Related Behaviour

With Separation Related Behaviour, we commonly find that the condition plays out both inside the home when the dog is alone, and outside in a particular environment when the owner needs to temporarily move away from his/her dog. In both scenarios, the underlying stress and panic being experienced by the dog can be traumatic.

Fear Based Reactivity

Fear Based Reactivity can be present in a variety of situations. A dog may show both fear and/or aggression towards other unfamiliar dogs that are nearby, especially when going for a walk, or at a local park.

Some dogs may also show these type of behaviours towards unfamiliar adults or children, either inside or outside of the home. Other dogs may demonstrate reactivity towards moving objects such as bicycles, cars and skateboards. And of course, a dog may simply be hyper-excited when placed in these situations - also very common given the number of owners who approach us to help calm and relax their very hyper-excitable dogs.

Another area that Active Creatures is becoming more involved in, is helping owners who have two dogs residing in the same home, where there are infrequent displays of aggression between both dogs. Increasingly, we are being approached for this specific problem given the amount of stress and anxiety that an owner is subjected to.

Utilising current research

Due to this demand from owners for behavioural treatment in the area’s outlined above, Active Creatures ultimately devotes significant attention into researching the most recent and practical advancements into treatment methods and strategies for these conditions. That’s because these complex behavioural issues demand an up-to date, ‘best practice’ approach to bring about lasting positive behavioural change for an owner’s suffering dog.

If your dog has been experiencing some of the above problems, please reach out to us for help.

as at March 2024

Latest Dog Behaviour Research

Pain & Discomfort can impact the development of Aggressive Dog Behaviour

Key Research: Aggressive dog behaviour is often associated with inadequate socialisation, fear based reactivity, or the dog experiencing a negative emotional state that then contributes towards the way they act. Some aggressive behaviour displayed by dog’s can also be quite normal, including intermale aggression, resource related and maternal aggression. The existence of pain, discomfort and/or disease however, can also influence the development of aggression problems in dogs. Importantly, a sudden change or unexpected change in a dog’s behaviour may indicate that pain is being felt. The emergence of any pain can also enhance or worsen aggression and other behavioural problems that a dog may already be experiencing.

(Marta Amat; Susana LeBrech; and Xavier Manteca. Jan 2024. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal practice. Vol 54, 43- 53.)

  

Key Takeaway: If your dog has been exhibiting unexplained aggressive behaviour – especially in recent weeks – either towards yourself or other family members, other unfamiliar persons or dogs generally, then a full veterinary physical examination may be warranted. Even subtle forms of pain and discomfort may go initially unnoticed but could be directly contributing to your dog’s aggressive behaviour. Ultimately, if pain has been deemed the cause, then this can then be treated appropriately by your veterinarian. In the absence of pain or disease however, the aggressive behaviour is more likely being caused by one or more of the contributing factors mentioned above whereby your dog would benefit from a tailored behavioural modification plan.

A consistent schedule of positive activities can help reduce the development of Aggressive Dog Behaviour

The importance of relaxation for your dog (Separation Related Behaviour, SRB)

The importance of relaxation for your dog…

Key Research: Dogs who are experiencing separation problems are highly likely to be physically active and to vocalise once their owner/s have departed. In contrast, dogs who are not experiencing separation problems are mostly inactive while alone (lying resting or lying alert) without displaying any type of vocalisation. An inability to relax – or needing a long time to achieve relaxation when alone – appears to be a key determinant here in assessing the presence of separation problems in dogs. Equivalently, dogs who find it difficult to relax even upon owner return, is another key indicator of the existence of separation problems.

(Silbermamm, J & Ganslober, U. 2023. Animals 13, 3735)

Key Takeaway: Your dog’s propensity to be able to reach a state of relaxation is important here. If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, pay careful attention to his or her ability to generally achieve a state of relaxation, even when you are home. Taking deliberate steps to help teach your dog to relax, in different locations of your home and at various times through the day, will go some way towards assisting your dog to learn how to relax when alone. Of course, be cautious to not regularly leave your dog alone until he or she has benefited from other, effective, separation related behavioural treatments.

The sound your dog makes when alone can reflect how they are feeling (SRB)

Key Research: Different types of vocalisations that dogs make when alone, has been investigated in order to gain an understanding of how dogs are feeling when they make a particular sound. It has been reported that dogs who are afraid of being left alone whine much more often than dogs who do not experience separation anxiety. On the other hand, dogs who tend to bark when alone are more likely to be doing this out of frustration and boredom. In essence, the negative emotion of fearfulness is driving the whining behaviour of dogs who exhibit this vocalisation when alone.

(Pongracz, P; Lenkei, R; Marx, A; Farago, T. 2017. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 196, 61-68)

Key Takeaway: Be aware of the type of sound your dog makes when alone. This can help determine what behavioural treatment approach will best assist your dog. If they are simply bored and frustrated and subsequently barking quite a lot, then the treatment approach will be more associated with getting your dog involved with engaging activities before you leave, so as to induce both tiredness and contentment. A well as having some playful activities they can choose to do while alone. Fear based whining behaviour however, is quite complex, and will require a treatment approach that teaches predictability while also developing your dog’s confidence and resilience when left alone.

The location you leave your dog when alone, can have an impact (SRB)

Key Research: Dogs who are (a) confined to an inside kennel/cage with the door closed, or (b) have only one room for access as opposed to several rooms in the home, or (c) more likely to be placed outside when the owner leaves – are much more likely to display separation behavioural problems. Especially with regard to the inside scenario’s, these equate with restricted movement and therefore only add to the dog’s discomfort. Equivalently, if separation from the owner is also combined with a sudden change in the dog’s environment, then this can have a negative impact on how your dog copes with the immediate situation.

(Silbermamm, J & Ganslober, U. 2023. Animals 13, 3735)

Key Takeaway: Allowing your dog to have a free range of movement when inside alone, will help remove any feelings of restriction and discomfort that can contribute to separation panic. In doing this, a kennel or cage can be a great location to become a safe place for your dog, but where access to other rooms are also provided. Teach your dog the ability to relax and enjoy this safe location, both when you are at home or going out. This can help offset the development of separation behavioural problems.

Confining your dog to outside when alone, may remove opportunities for them to withdraw and therefore contribute to them feeling insecure. Equivalently, Sudden or unexpected noises or other outside stimuli which cause them to adversely react, may only interfere with their ability to settle down and relax.

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