3 Common Ways To Create Aggression in Dogs
There are so many sources of dog training out there, and sadly much of this advice is just NOT healthy or safe for your dog.
Let's break down the top 3 common mistakes I see as a behavioral trainer.
#1 Taking a shy puppy or dog to the dog park to socialize.
Just don't do it! This is a recipe for disaster. You have no way of knowing the social skills of the other dogs that are present, you cannot control the other dogs, and in many cases, people bring dogs that are aggressive to the dog park to "fix" them. Your best solution is to find a suitable, social playmate that can help bring out the "play" in your pup. This is best done with the supervision and guidance of a professional.
#2 Chase after and punish a dog who steals something.
If you chase, without realizing it, you add value to the item. This causes your dog to want to keep it even more, which could lead to other issues such as aggression and a potential dog bite. So what do you do? Teach your dog to trade with you. The item they have, for an item you have. The key is making what you have more valuable. Practicing a "trade out" for items will ensure that you have success in those moments your dog makes a poor choice.
#3 Not supervising children around a dog.
Guess who gets bitten the most? Yep, kids! Kids move sporadically, make weird noises, and for some dogs are just a mystery. It is our job as dog owners, and parents (for those of us with the kids) to ensure the safety of all parties involved. It is imperative that they are supervised. If that means calling the dog to go with you to change out the laundry, so be it. Your dog will be happy to be included. Never leave them unsupervised, it only takes a moment for an accident to happen, which could impact the life of your child and your dog forever.
What to do if your dog is exhibiting any of these problems? It is time to reach out and seek the advice of a professional positive trainer (be it me, or someone else), there is no time like the present to get a handle on the issues at hand.