Wagworld speaks to dog professional Bernice Jaffe:
Bernice Jaffe has been involved with animals her whole life, and has been working as a full-time dog behaviourist for the past seven of them.
Previously a shiatsu and directed pressure point therapist, Bernice holds a naturally warm and relaxed disposition and firmly believes that, “dogs feed off our energy, our calmness or our nervousness”. If you tend to act aggressively with or around your dog, the more likely it is that your dog will pick up similar habits. Likewise, if you are calm and collected, your pet will respond similarly.
The best way to understand animals, she says, is through devoted time and observation spent studying how they react to their environments. And this is exactly what she has done herself.
According to Bernice, aggression, fear and anxiety in animals’ stems from their previous circumstances, miss-ownership and lack of socialisation - over and above their breed.
Bernice also promotes “the pack theory”, which is the theory that dogs, like other group orientated animals, are instinctively in need of a leader, or alpha male/ female. And for a happy and healthy relationship to occur, your dog needs to be taught that you, the owner, are the “pack leader”.
Here are some of the values that Bernice believes owners must practise:
- Shouting or hitting your dog and is a ‘no-no’
- Always walk first through an entry way or entrance
- Eat or pretend to eat first before you feed your dog
- Never feed dog from dining table
- Give attention on your own terms – Do not reward anxious behaviour
- Do not ignore dogs when they are being calm and quiet – Give them calm attention
- Greet human beings in the house first when you arrive home
- Only greet dogs when calm
- Allow dogs to sleep inside with you as they will be better able to protect you inside
In addition to working privately, Bernice also works with LEAPS (Lambert and Elands Animal Protection Unit), Pets and African Tails to help animals resolve behaviour problems.
Although it can never be 100% guaranteed that your dog could be rehabilitated, Bernice’s expertise continues to yield successful results. Her primary speciality lies with dogs with excessive barking problems.
For testimonials on her work and dedication, please visit: http://www.bernicejaffe.co.za/testimonials.html
Contact Bernice on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0798837566.