Canine Behavior Science
The Art, Science, and Love of the Family Dog
Canine Behavior Science uses evidence-based best practices and science to help you build the best relationship with your dog and address any behavioral problems in the most efficient, humane way.
Extensive Experience With Dog Behavior Problems
Dogs with a bite history
Dogs not rehomed
Dogs with separation anxiety
Dog Behavior Problems We Address
We specialize in helping humans and their dogs live better together, regardless of the severity or type of behavior problem.
Often behavior problems can be prevented (or severity mitigated) with the right training, commuication and understanding of dog behavior.
- Doesn’t Listen
- Resource Guarding
- Biting, nipping
- Wild and unruly
- Rescue Dogs
- Change in environment
- New developmental stage in the dog’s life
About Randi Rossman
- Masters certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology
- Certified as a Behavior Consultant Canine by CCPDT
- Certified as a Dog Behavior Consultant by IAABC
- Advisory Board Member for the Daily Paws
- Admin for Fearful Dogs Facebook Group
- Certified Fear Free Professional, Level 2
- Authored ABA 101 for IAABC’s Principles and Practices Course
- Animal training mentors include Jean Donaldson, Bob Bailey, and Parvene Farhoody
- Recommended by veterinarians and veterinary behaviorists
Randi focuses on addressing canine behavior challenges in a way that improves the lives of both humans and dogs. Her academic background and career include animal training and human behavior change, instructional design, business, and organizational management.
After a 30-year career as a marketing executive for companies such as McKesson, AT&T, and Microsoft, Randi became interested in dog training and dog behavior modification with the adoption of her dog Ringo in 2010. Ringo had a history of abuse and neglect, and was initially aggressive when she brought home her dog Stella as a puppy.
After apprenticing from 2010 to 2012 at Seattle Humane Society and with multiple trainers, Randi began investigating how to improve her training skills and knowledge to better serve her clients. This led her to combine both academic education with industry mentors with the goal of leveraging the most efficient ways to address behavioral challenges.
Randi started Canine Behavior Science in 2012 to marry her business and animal training background to provide quality behavior services for people and their dogs. She took the educational business online in 2020 to help a larger audience live better lives with their dogs.
. . .
We went from being on the fence about keeping Chewie, to never being able to imagine our life without him. Your patience, flexibility, and support of our smallest of achievements helped keep me motivated..
We were in a bad place when we started. I was actually considering rehoming him, but I’ve seen his progress in this short amount of time and I know Raylan is enjoying learning new things. I didn’t know you could get these results without our prong collar.
Working with CBS, we learned better ways to help our reactive, wonderful dog. Their science-based and pragmatic approach and many years of experience really helped me understand what to anticipate better and therefore respond in a more helpful way.
I received spot-on advice for helping me be a better dog owner, with effective solutions to multiple behavior problems Riley had presented, all while maintaining a positive stance and team approach.
Our Approach to Dog Training and Behavior
We Understand Dogs
Dogs aren’t born understanding that peeing in the house is a no-no or that eating from off the counter is forbidden. It is up to us to teach them how to function successfully in our world.
We Will Understand Your Needs
We focus on meeting your goals. Whether you want to hike the trails together or have friends over safely, we’ll develop a customized plan that meets your needs.
We Take a Personalized Approach
We don’t apply “off-the-shelf” protocols that may or may not work for your situation. We carefully construct behavior plans based on the science of applied behavior analysis, your specific needs, the individual dog, and the environment in which you live.
We Focus on Progress
We want to make sure things are progressing in the most timely way. Ongoing tracking of improvements allows us to get better outcomes.
Transparency in Dog Training
How your dog is treated during training has an ongoing impact on their future behavior and emotional state.
Your dog depends on you to be a smart consumer of dog education.
Dog training is an unregulated, unlicensed profession. This means that anyone can claim they are a dog trainer or behaviorist. Be leery of anyone who isn’t willing to be transparent about how they work, their dog behavior education and how they obtained their skills.
Some dog trainers don’t openly disclose how they train, which leaves you in the dark about what will happen to your dog. If you come across someone like that, keep going. There is no reason to keep things hidden unless there is something to hide.
At Canine Behavior Science, we welcome your questions about how we work and how we were educated and acquired our skills.
Whether or not you work with us, we want you to have the best experience getting help for your dog.
What will happen if my dog gets it right?
If your dog gets it right, good things will happen: your dog will be reinforced for doing the right thing.
Dogs have many reinforcers—food, toys, play, attention, petting, etc. One of the things we’ll work on is understanding what your dog finds reinforcing.
Likely, we will work with food as a reinforcer a lot. Food is the easiest reinforcer to use for a variety of reasons:
- A dog has to eat to live. That makes food quite motivating as a reinforcer, and the dog doesn’t have to learn that food is reinforcing.
- When learning a new behavior, we want to give the dog a ton of opportunity to perform and get reinforced for that behavior. The more times the dog does the behavior and gets reinforced, the more the dog will do the behavior joyfully.
- Food is the easiest and fastest reinforcer to deliver to get the most repetitions in.
Worried that using food is bribery? Or that it’s too distracting? Come back to read more about the use of food in dog training.
What happens if my dog gets it wrong?
The short answer is: your dog won’t get reinforced for that behavior.
The simple but not easy reality of dog training is that we reinforce the right behaviors and don’t reinforce wrong behaviors.
First, we need to look at why the dog is doing that behavior. For example, if your dog is jumping on people, most likely it is to get attention. And what happens when your dog jumps on people? “Off Fido, Down, Now!” Which is . . . you guessed it! Attention. Exactly what the dog wants. So you may actually be reinforcing your dog for behaviors you don’t want. << link to blog>>
If while you are training, are you sometimes give your dog a treat for sitting politely and other times saying “Off, Fido” when he jumps, what you get is something known in behavior science as “Matching Law.” If you reinforce 60% of the time for sitting politely, and reinforce by giving attention (even if it is yelling) 40% of the time, what do you think happens to a dog’s behavior?
If you guessed that you would get sitting 60% of the time and jumping 40% of the time, you are correct! That’s the not-so-easy part of dog training: being very aware of how you might be inadvertently reinforcing your dog. But like any skill, with practice and coaching, you can get great at it.
We work on setting your dog up for success so that doing the right behavior is the easiest thing to do while your dog is learning a different, more acceptable behavior. Perhaps that is having your dog behind a gate when people come into the house, so she doesn’t jump up. Perhaps that is avoiding walking your dogs around other dogs if your dog is aggressive to them.
This science term for this is called “changing antecedent events”—setting the environment up so that both you and your dog can be most successful.
These antecedent changes are not meant to be permanent changes — that would be really difficult for you! All we are doing is temporarily avoiding your dog from practicing the behavior while you teach your dog a different one that you like.
Finally, what we work on is replacing an unwanted behavior with behavior we’d like to see. If you remove a behavior you don’t like, it’s only fair to be very clear and train a behavior you do like. Have you ever had a boss who only told you what you were doing wrong and didn’t tell you what to do instead? It feels dreadful.
So if we don’t want a dog to jump up on people coming into the house, we can teach them to really love going to their mat and waiting politely with positive reinforcement. Now the dog has a behavior they love to do when people come in the door that eliminates the behavior of jumping you don’t want. This is called “differential reinforcement of an incompatible behavior.”
Is there a less invasive alternative to what you propose?
None known at this time. But we keep up on the current science to practice evidence-based approaches to training and addressing behavioral challenges. If or when something new is added to the current body of science that is replicated, we will use it.
At Canine Behavior Science, we use what’s known as LIMA—the Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive approach to developing training plans and approaches to working with your dog. We are held to high ethical standards by both our certifying organizations. Randi also voluntarily follows the ethical guidelines for Board Certified Behavior Analysts, which requires that aversives and punishment are not used without careful thought, consideration, and consultation with more learned colleagues.
This approach is based on the same ethical guidelines that are required for education and behavior modification for humans.
This is why the company’s name is Canine Behavior Science. Everything we practice is steeped in deep knowledge and fluency of the science of behavior. The approach is customized to make sure you and your dog can be successful together.
Since we’re often in sessions and thus, unavailable, the best way to get more details is to fill out the form on the right.
We’ll get back to you within 24 hours and look forward to helping you and your dog!