Features October 2005 Issue

Understanding Why Your Dog Growls

Why you should never punish a dog for growling.

Clients always appear a bit stunned at first when I tell them their dog’s growl is a good thing. In fact, a growl is something to be greatly treasured. These are my aggression consultation clients, who are in my office in desperation, as a last resort, hoping to find some magic pill that will turn their biting dog into a safe companion. They are often dismayed and alarmed to discover that the paradigm many of us grew up with – punish your dog harshly at the first sign of aggression – has contributed to and exacerbated the serious and dangerous behavior problem that has led them to my door.

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