Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Definition of CBT:  a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought are proactively dismissed to deter unwanted behaviour patterns or treat mood disorders.

CBT is not unheard of for dogs. It is widely accepted that dogs have the ability to apply cognitive thinking processes – in other words, their physical make-up consists of the required “parts” to think with the cognitive part of the brain.

UPWARD Methodology is the only approach to working with dogs that teaches people how to “find the cognitive side of the brain” and to effectively apply it on a simplistic and everyday level. Operant Conditioning, Positive Reinforcement Training, Clicker Training, Dominance and relying on physical tools do not use the brain the same way CBT does and, therefore, cannot have the same effect. When we apply CBT, we are advancing from Reactive Techniques (Positive Reinforcement and Negative Reinforcement) to teaching and applying the Tools required to work with dogs over the age of six months.

There are no right or wrong behaviours. We may not like the behaviour, or we may wish to rehabilitate it for the comfort of the dog, but we cannot change it by telling dogs it is wrong, or right, to act or feel a certain way. We can change (decrease or eliminate) the reaction or feeling by addressing the reason for it.

The reason for the behaviour is determined by the Dog, not by us.

As with humans, upbringing and experiences impact personalities and learned behaviours. Personality is a combination of genetics and natural demeanor; learned behaviours can be from personal experience or learning from people or other dogs. Learned behaviours and personalities effect a Dogs perception which dictates their reactions or feelings.

(From “The Art of Urban People With Adopted and Rescued Dogs Methodology”)

The Tools of UPWARD Methodology are introduced in my book. The online course teaches you how to easily and effectively apply the Tools to meet your goals. We use the Tools of UPWARD Methodology to determine the dog’s reason for the behaviour (their goal).  The Tools provide the foundation that allows us to effectively work with dogs by changing the dog’s perception of us, the situation, and the reason for the unwanted behaviour, fear, or aggression.