Bio: Cassian Sandeberg
Growing up in rural England, Cassian found himself always surrounded by animals. His parents are avid dog lovers and there were never fewer than three dogs in their home at any given time. In this loving environment, Cassian learned to love animals and love interacting with them.
After moving to Los Angeles, Cassian started working and volunteering at local rescues and shelters. As part of the rescue community, he quickly realized how many dogs were being given up by their owners due to behavioral issues. For the next ten years, he spent his free time evaluating and training thousands of dogs, quickly realizing that no single methodology works for every dog and that every case must be evaluated individually. The only effective way to approach each unique situation is to first 'decode the dog.'
Decoding and evaluating the dog helps us get to the root cause of the issue instead of just dealing with the symptoms. For example, a dog may be aggressive (the symptom) but that exhibited behavior may manifest from insecurity (the cause).
After the evaluation, Cassian will work with the owner to train the dog using the right tools and creating the right environment to achieve the desired behavior in the dog.
Is your dog social?
Your dog’s sociability can be categorized in four ways:
Dog Social: will seek out dogs to play with and enjoys the pack mentality associated with play.
Dog Tolerant: may not seek out play but will engage while also choosing sometimes to 'sit this one out.'
Dog Selective (most bully breeds): fine with some dogs but not all and often prefer dogs of the opposite sex. NOT A DOG PARK DOG.
Dog Aggressive: NO DOG PARKS. Will generally take all dogs as a challenge and are thus willing to fight. It is possible for these dogs to live with another dog if they have built up trust and their owner is very structured and experienced, maintaining the right environment, never leaving them alone together, and never having toys or bones around as they may cause a fight.
Meeting a new dog:
It’s all in the greeting. Done correctly, with loose leashes on a walk, the dogs can have a good experience. Done incorrectly (nose to nose, taut leashes), fights can happen.
Two dogs playing are still fighting. They are working each other out, deciding who is stronger, faster, and more agile, a bit like two boxers sparring. But control must be maintained, thus it’s important for you to remain in charge. It’s your game and you stop it when you want to, sometimes just because.
Dogs are driven by instinct and their behavior is shaped by their environment. When their environment changes, so do they. It's also important to understand the role nature versus nurture plays in creating the right environment for each dog. Structure and routine are beneficial but a nervous dog may not like a hectic environment; it is important not to set our dogs up to fail.
See Cassian in Episode 1 of "Shelter Me" featured on PBS here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbpuzl3BNeI
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Our goal is to teach you how to understand and communicate with your dog to achieve desired traits and correct unwanted behaviors.