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The John Earle Cognitive Behavioral Method

What Is Cognitive Behavior Modification?

Cognitive Behavior Modification is a method of mental health therapy commonly used to treat a range of neuroses and anxiety disorders in humans. In cognitive behavior modification, the patient is trained to recognize destructive thought patterns or behaviors, then replace them with constructive thoughts and behaviors.

For the canine patient, the John Earle Cognitive Dog Training method applies “operant conditioning.”  The dog behaves within an environment that is controlled exclusively by the (behaviorist) handler. All reinforcement for undesirable behaviors is removed, while preferred actions are instructed and reinforced.

How It Works

Cognitive behavior modification works on a principle called “thought stopping.” By making thought patterns conscious and not impulse-driven, the dog can recognize when it is about to perform an undesirable behavior, such as barking when the situation calls for silence, or attempting to greet a person or another animal when the environmental conditions call for standing still.

When environmental conditions and expectations are consistently maintained, the dog will recognize and perform the behaviors that are expected within that environment. The John Earle Cognitive Dog Training method instills a set of values in the dog that compels obedience. The handler (owner) sets the level of compliance required and reinforces obedience through resource acquisition (rewards).

Disorders Treated by Cognitive Behavior Modification

The John Earle Cognitive Dog Training method goes beyond the behaviors (symptoms) to treat their root cause: anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. These include:

  • obsessive-compulsive
  • phobias
  • panic
  • fear-related anxiety
  • fear-anxiety aggression
  • separation anxiety
  • post-traumatic stress anxiety

Deeply habituated behaviors may require a longer course of treatment and sometimes medication may be needed to facilitate treatment.

What About Puppy Training?

The John Earle Cognitive Dog Training method can be used to train your puppy how to interact with his/her environment with your value set from day one. It’s the best way to avoid ever having to deal with unwanted behaviors.


The John Earle Cognitive Dog Training Method is highly successful. John has applied this method to over 40,000 dogs and 15,000 cats. In many instances, the complete elimination of the undesirable behavior is achieved with cognitive behavior modification. The results, in the majority of cases, are permanent. While a complete cure is not always achieved, dramatic improvements will allow a previously unruly dog or cat to remain with its family.

CONTACT US or CALL (707) 596-8845 in Santa Rosa, California, for more information on cognitive behavior modification.

Discover what professional dog training can do for you and your pet when you contact us in Santa Rosa, California.