By altering the type of exercise used, slow calm walks replaced the running and relaxed affection replaced the highly stimulating tug of war and ball chasing, almost immediately dogs become more calm and less destructive.
Further success came with understanding just how important our own feelings and attitudes are in affecting those around us. This is particularly important with animals like dogs that are incredibly sensitive to the nuances of what we project with our bodies. Quite simply, if we are relaxed, calm and confident, it is likely our dogs will respond in a way that reflects this. Similarly if we are tense, anxious, angry or frustrated our dogs will be impacted in a way that often results in reactive, erratic behaviour.
The question then became, should we persist with attempting to teach dogs our own convoluted spoken language or focus on the simple, effective and natural approach that belongs to both animals and humans to create understanding; Body language.
In the case of behavioural problems with dogs, the source generally starts with the dogs at home. This is where they spend most of their lives and where the most significant impact on learning can occur. That's not to say problems don't begin or exist elsewhere, however, creating understanding, respect and trust in the home will inevitably improve the results achieved elsewhere. By observing thousands of dogs of all breeds in a wide variety of situations including homes, parks, boarding facilities etc one thing became abundantly clear, dogs are much smarter than most people realise.