Dog Behavior Problems – Avoidance is Not the Solution
Dog behavior problems come in all types, from dominance aggression to fear aggression, phobias, and neurotic behaviors. The approach that most owners take when dealing with a dog with these types of dog behavior problems is simple: avoid the situations and environments that cause the dog to act inappropriately.
For example, if an owner has a dog that shows aggression while out on walks in the neighborhood, they will often stop taking the dog for walks or may limit their walks to nighttime hours or other times when other dogs are scarce. Due to the lack of exercise and proper mental stimulation, the dog becomes more anxious and often begins to develop other, often more severe, dog behavior problems. Failing to have the dog properly interact with other dogs does nothing to help resolve the inappropriate behavior, it simply hides the symptoms of the dog’s behavior problem. This situation is one that is often quite stressful for the owners and usually causes a strained relationship with their dog. This issue can generally be resolved quickly with proper training and socialization and may require the help of a professional dog trainer.
We deal with owners who have dogs that bark, growl, and show aggression when someone rings the doorbell or knocks at the door of their home. Instead of working to resolve the problem of aggression at the door, many owners will simply disconnect their doorbell and place a sign by the door telling visitors not to knock or to use another door. Again, these owners are simply avoiding a situation where the dog is likely to act out instead of training the dog to be appropriate when someone visits. Diagnosing why dogs shows aggression at the door and treating this problem is often simple, especially with the help of a professional dog trainer.
Another common problem is the owner that is trying to manage a dog that suffers from dominance aggression. This dog will snap, growl and even bite to either gain or retain things like food, bones, toys, personal space and anything else that they deem to be a resource. Many owners feed these dogs in an unoccupied room to ensure that there are no problems while the dog is eating. Other owners will surrender their couch and even their bed to the dog who guards it by displaying aggression. Others either don’t give the dog access to bones and toys or will simply stay well away from the dog while it enjoys a favorite bone or toy. Again, this does nothing to resolve the issue of the dog who rules your home. These dogs need to understand that their owners control resources and that they are never allowed to show aggression to guard resources. This problem can be remedied with professional training and a commitment from the owner.
By attempting to avoid problems, owners often create new problems or simply compound the existing problem that continues to occur. Learning to help dog owners successfully diagnose and rehabilitate dog behavior problems is often the most rewarding work for a professional dog trainer. If you are interested in learning more about how to help dog owners resolve dog behavior problems or if you are considering a career as a professional dog trainer, contact us about the courses we offer at our School for Dog Trainers. You can reach us at 866.200.2207 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org