Several of my trainer collegues have posted about this very subject just this week.
If someone walks up to you and asks to pet your dog, what is your immediate response? My guess is your response was never with your dogs well being in mind. I don't appreciate people coming up and petting or touching my husband…he is my property and so is my dog.
We as dog owners have an obligation to protect our four legged "property." We continue to teach in our classes, to our day school parents and board/train clients, reading your dog, understanding their state of mind…you will hear me say over and over, watch your dog, read the signs, they are always there.
- Children (and adults!) no longer wait for an answer because they presume it’s going to be yes. Waiting for an answer drops out of the sequence and you often get kids who parrot, “May I pet your dog?” and then they’re moving right in before you can say anything. After all, why not? They asked, didn’t they?
- Because people expect a “Yes,” they do not know how to respond to a “No” and take it personally or get annoyed. This leads to pet owners giving in to social pressure and feeling like they have to say “yes” when they’d rather say “no.”
Aggressive Dogs During My Walks
During my daily walks it is entirely too often that I encounter two very unfriendly and aggressive dogs. They are known throughout the neighborhood by their titles of "Oh those aggressive dogs" or "Oh those $%&hole dogs." I have met and talked to so many of the great neighbors in my neighborhood, mail carrier, UPS driver, paper delivery man and all of them saying the same thing…Those dogs are mean.
So how do you handle such a delicate matter? The dogs are behind a fence, they bark like vicious, rabid beasts and chase you along the driveway and road. It makes the walk unpleasant, my dogs get extremely upset, my puppies have revereded to crying and whining while these two dogs carry on.
I am also aware of two dogs that have been injured by these dogs because they have come through the fence and made contact with a puppy and older dog leaving scars and permanent injuries.
Prior to moving into this neighborhood, my dogs didnt have the foggiest idea what fence fighting even was, let alone engage in behavior like that. The sad part about all of this, is I now have to correct my dogs for this behavior…Not fair to my puppies and adult dogs. No matter where people walk, if it is near the dogs property lines, they run and charge the fence aggressively including lunging, barking, growling and attacking each other.
As a K9 Trainer, I am struggling with the concept that dogs in this amount of unsettled state of mind is not good for either of their well beings. Even if their job is to monitor and protect the property, a well trained dog understands and has learned the Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse philosophy "Be nice, until its time to not be nice." Dogs don't need to bark, lunge, snarl, growl, attack each other to protect their property. In fact, they just might miss something because they are too busy attacking each other. We reinforce a calm state of mind, peaceful dogs, you can bark once to alert me but it is my job after that, be a dog and be happy!
I truly believe that these two dogs need a job to do, need a calmer state of mind, structure, rules, guidance and LEADERSHIP! But again, how do you address such a delicate matter when they believe their dogs are "Doing their Job!"
I would appreciate your thoughts or suggestions?
Our Dog Training Rules We Live By at PCA:
BASICS - Fabulous Advice for Anyone with a Dog!
- • Don’t ever yell at or lose your cool with your dog – this is majorly counterproductive. A calm, confident, assertive approach is what conveys leadership, power, and strength – use the leash and collar to correct – not yelling.
- • The more you tell your dog what to do, the better he gets. The less you tell him what to do, the worse he gets.
- • Dogs thrive and flourish on structure, rules, discipline, routine and leadership.
- • If you don’t fulfill your dog’s needs for exercise, structure, and leadership, you can’t expect him to fulfill your needs for good behavior.
- • You want to train CALM, not EXCITEMENT, so be careful what behavior you reward and what behavior you correct.
- • Although counter-intuitive, dogs need structure, rules, and leadership FAR more than they need affection.
- • The biggest breakdown in the human/canine relationship is our inability to truly understand what love and fulfillment look like to your dogs.
- • The highest form of love is fulfilling your dog’s true needs – putting his needs for exercise, structure, rules, and leadership before your needs for constant love and affection, babying, etc.
- • Treat your dog like a human and he’ll treat you like a dog.