Archives for Aggression category

Ready For School!

Posted on Oct 17, 2013
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Humor, Dog Psychology, Dog Training
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The images below are of two of my recent pupils.  Moxie is the male Yorkie-poo and Matilda is the female Coton de Tulear.  I was going to write about the reason I was called to their home – the reactive behavior to some dogs and the not-so-happy gardeners (not that the dogs were happy being reactive).  However, if you are like me and are more of a visual learner, you would benefit more by watching me work with your dogs prior to you taking the leash.  So, I will use the pictures to show you one of the positive affects of a training session.  Before and after. . .I think they speak for themselves.

If you need help with a behavioral issue or just want a tired dog, give me a call!

Some People (Dogs) Are Afraid of Dogs (People)

Posted on Jun 12, 2013
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology
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I came across this article that does an awesome job of explaining and illustrating how some people perceive dogs and how dogs see some people.  Dog lovers and advocates need to remember that. . .

Some People Are Afraid of Dogs and Some Dogs Are Afraid of People

Gotta’ Love The Dog Park!

Posted on Nov 04, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Park, Dog Psychology, Dog Training, Palm Springs Dog Park
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When at a dog park, it’s not the dogs I am concerned about!  It’s their humans.  Dogs are excellent at being dogs.  Take them to a dog park without them responding to you, and you will really get to witness dogs in action.  They aren’t being bad by being a dog – they are doing what they know to do until we teach them to be what we call a “good dog.”  Dog parks are filled with more scents and pent-up energy than we can imagine.

I was working with an aggressive dog outside of the dog park.  I was a safe distance from the entry room with the dog nicely in a sit-stay.  A car drives up, opens their door, and lets three dogs run out off leash.  My guess is the dogs are not well-trained so trying to keep them on a leash to enter the park would have been a challenge.

All three dogs ran toward us.  I said nicely, “we are in training and the dog is aggressive toward dogs.”   May I remind dog park lovers that it’s not always a good situation to have dogs off leash charging toward dogs who are leashed without knowing about the dogs. That’s why before entering the park, the dogs have an area for leash removal.  There is absolutely no way of knowing every dog in every situation – especially, if someone is telling you they have a dog-aggressive dog.  A nice, friendly dog doesn’t make a dog-aggressive dog change it’s ways!

The man still could not get control of his dogs but kept assuring me that, “that one is friendly.”  Which one is “that one” and what about my saying several times this dog is aggressive didn’t he understand.  Fortunately, nothing happened.  He was swatting at the dog calling it bad, and if I had a spare leash, it would not have been put on the dog!

I write this as a reminder to everyone to be responsible with your dogs.  Have them on a leash if they are not trained to be off leash.   I know the dog park is the highlight of the day for some dogs, but that will soon change if there is an altercation that could have easily been prevented.

Is Your Dog A Picky Eater?

Posted on Sep 28, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Food, Dog Psychology
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I have heard from numerous clients that their dog is a picky eater. They either say that or, “he doesn’t eat very much.” Typically, I suggest moistening the food with a little water and perhaps adding a few snippets of something a little more tasty than their kibble. This works for some dogs. There’s something about a little gravy that turns meal time into a treat!

I have had several of these “picky” eaters boarding with me, and guess what? When they were around other dogs eating, they paid more attention to their food bowl and making sure the other dogs did not move in on their what-used-to-appear-bland kibble.

It may not be feasible for you to have your dog eat with another dog, but I can almost guarantee, they would have a new appreciation for the food that is set before them! I don’t suggest feeding dogs out of the same bowl, but this was a photo opportunity I couldn’t pass up…

By the way – notice that two of the dogs are Pit Bulls.  Somone forgot to tell them to be aggressive!

Red Zone Dogs

Posted on Aug 28, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Discussion Tab, Dog Psychology, Dog Training, Doggie Rehab, Dominant Dog, Pit Bull
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I have been contacted by more and more people concerned their dog is aggressive.  They may even state they have a “red zone dog.”  Here’s an article I wrote on this subject.  Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s behavior.

Red Zone Dogs

What Dog Training Method is Best?

Posted on Jul 20, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology, Dog Training
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When you are looking for a dog trainer or behaviorist, you are most likely interested in the end result.  Let’s face it – training is training.  Sit is sit, stay is stay regardless of the method used.  I think it is important to give thought to the process used to get to that end result.

Think of it personally.  If there is something you want to learn or you want to teach someone else, doesn’t it feel better to have them learn it out of respect and positive reinforcement than by fear or pain?

Why do some archaic technique if a more gentle approach works?     A happy, respectful dog sits just as nicely as one who submits out of fear of feeling what’s coming next.  There may be a lot of “but what about’s” in your mind right now.  Like, what about if they are aggressive?  What if the dog is extremely stubborn?

I have found that a lot of people run out of patience long before their dog is responding in the way they want.  Anger and frustration are not success-guaranteed training tools.  If you find yourself losing patience, end the session with the dog complying end on a positive note and begin again later.

If you are having difficulty with a specific behavior, please contact me using the box to the right.  (Melody shares this space with me!)

HSUS Largest Dogfighting Raid

Posted on Jul 09, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Discussion Tab, Dogfighting, Doggie Rehab, Pit Bull
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The Humane Society of the United States does it again – this time it’s huge!  They conducted the largest dog dogfighting raid ever resulting in the saving of 450 lives!   Here’s the link – donate if you can.

Eight-State Dogfighting Raid

Children and Dogs

Posted on Jul 08, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Pit Bull
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Children learn from their environment, and their parents show them how to treat others.   In the following article from “The Bark” magazine, you will see how well these children were trained in the treatment of another – specifically, a Pit Bull named Snaps.

I am sharing this because awareness is knowledge. The incident was provoked and certainly not the fault of the dog. I feel for the children who are obviously replicating what they have been taught. Reminds me of a Cole Porter quote: “We must teach our children before it’s too late. Before they reach six or seven or eight. To hate all the people their relatives hate. They must be carefully taught.” The same applies to animal or any other kind of abuse.

Hopefully, Snaps’ advocates will be given an opportunity to work with him.  I think of the Vick(tory) Pit Bulls and how wonderful the dogs are doing now.   The responsible humans need to be punished – not the breed of the dog.

Children Provoke Dog to Attack

Can a Little Dog be Alpha?

Posted on May 08, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology, Dog Toys, Dog Training
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Does breed or size matter in the realm of a dog’s position in the pack?  What if dog’s knew the stories that are perpetuated about their breed?  What if being big and muscular automatically made you alpha dog?

Observing dogs as they live in their world of thought and not mine, it can appear they are being courteous to another dog rather than acting out their role in the hierarchy of the pack.  For example:

The Great Dane is sometimes possessive of her food and toys.  I looked over to see her lying wait by her giant food bowl as she patiently “allowed” the tiny Yorkie to eat.  She circles away from her bowl as she eats, and I’m sure she was surprised to return to see she was unintentionally sharing her food.

While I know it’s not the case, what if she learned from me to pick her battles?  With me being present and observing, this is not one she’d win anyway.  It’s always a learning experience to sit back, relax, and watch as dogs show us who they are.  If I had jumped up startled that the Yorkie would dare eat from the Dane’s bowl, I could have contributed to a nervous response from either or both of them.

Patiently waiting, Melody moved away and the Dane went back to eating.  It could be that Melody is alpha, or that she is no threat so sharing is accepted, or maybe the Dane was just being courteous to a senior family member.

“Good Enough” Dog Training

Posted on Apr 24, 2009
Aggression, Behavioral Modification, Dog Psychology, Dog Training
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After training your dog and working on behavior modification, do you find yourself saying, “well, that’s good enough for me.”  The question needs to be, is that good enough for the dog?

Too often, we spend our dollars on training and behavior modification because we had a negative experience that was fresh on our minds.  In a few days and sometimes in a few hours, we forget about the issue and even begin to justify what was once unacceptable.

Is it really such a big deal?  Maybe not.  Some issues may truly become less important.  However, I am suggesting that in time with consistent expectations, training, and follow-through, you will find that you only have a vague memory of when your dog didn’t listen and respond to you.

Before you give up or settle for something less than desired, ask yourself if “good enough” is for you or if it is also in the best interest of your dog.