It has become all too common to see lists of breed bans in multi-unit residences as well as municipalities. Books could be written about the drawbacks of breed-specific legislation (BSL), but suffice to say that all dogs have the potential to bite and no breed has 100 percent benign membership. The bully breed" lovers among us (count me in) would point out that many of these dogs are model citizens and great companions."
Almost as soon as I walked into Boomer's house I could tell his owner was nervous. This isn't all that unusual when meeting a new client for the first time. I always have my new clients put the dog in another room so we can get acquainted with each other and have some time to chat without being distracted. Very often, the clients are uneasy during these initial consultations; I've grown accustomed to it. After all, often they have agonized over acknowledging their dog's issues and their decision to call in a professional. But after a few minutes, I could tell there was something more. I'd been called to help her dog with his reactive behavior. She related that he lunged and barked at some people as they walked by. During our discussion, she seemed unusually pensive and was having difficulty making eye contact with me. So I pressed, Is there anything else you need to tell me? Whatever it is
One of the most irritating and common phone calls I receive in my capacity as a professional dog trainer is when dog owners urgently ask me to help solve their dog's behavior problem immediately even though, as it often turns out, the problem has actually existed for years. Sometimes, it's even phrased as, If we can't get this fixed now
After about six weeks of living with Trill, Dr. Sharp knew that the frightened, anxious dog needed something more. The training and behavior protocols were working in the sense that the dog was cooperative, but Trill still had a panicked look in her eyes much of the time. Sharp was concerned: No animal should have to live with that much fear, she thought.
It's fairly common for dogs to be placed for adoption with a caveat that there should be no cats
Counter-conditioning involves changing your dog’s association with a scary or arousing stimulus from negative to positive. Desensitization is starting with a very low-level intensity of aversive stimulus until the dog habituates to (or changes his association with) the aversive, and then gradually increasing the strength until the dog is comfortable with the stimulus at full intensity. The easiest way to give most dogs a positive association and to help them become comfortable with a stimulus is with very high-value, really yummy treats. I like to use chicken – canned, baked, or boiled; most dogs love chicken. Here’s how the CC&D process works.
A dog fight that goes beyond a brief scuffle and doesn’t resolve quickly is frightening to behold. In fact, it’s one of the behavior scenarios most likely to result in significant injury to humans, not to mention the dogs. The first, most important thing to remember is keep yourself safe. After that, here are five things to do to try to end the conflict as quickly as possible, with minimal bloodshed.
There’s nothing like a good dog-pack hike to give our canine companions an opportunity to have fun with their peers and run themselves into a happy state of exhaustion – provided there are no canine bullies in the group. Just like human bullies on a school playground, canine bullies take the fun out of the game, put everyone on edge, and bring to the party a real risk of physical as well as psychological damage. A dog who is bullied, especially at a young age, can quickly develop a negative association with other dogs and become defensively aggressive as a result.
So, what should you do if your dog is the victim of a canine bully? Intervene, by all means. Here are some of the signs to look for that tell you that you need to step in and break up the interaction.
There is a growing body of information available to anyone who wants to learn more about why dominance theory is so outdated and incorrect. Here are 10 resources to get you started...
The term "doggie daycare" has become a panacea in recent years for all manner of canine behavioral ills. Does your dog engage in destructive chewing? Nuisance barking? Rude greetings? Poor canine social skills? Mouthing and biting? Separation anxiety? Just send him to doggie daycare, and all will be well. You hope. I'll admit I'm as guilty as the next trainer of suggesting a daycare solution for a huge percentage of my behavior consult clients. The fact is, many of today's canine companions suffer from a significant lack of exercise, stimulation, and social time with their own kind. A good daycare provider can go a long way toward meeting those needs.