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What is aggression and what's not

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  • What is aggression and what's not

    This subject obviously needs to be addressed.
    AGRESSION: Despite what most people think, aggression is most dogs DOES NOT come from a
    "dominant" or "alpha" temperament. Most aggression in pet danes is a result of of a shy-timid temperament that has been indulged. Dogs who very much need & are not getting formal, even rigid, STRONG HUMAN LEADERSHIP, but instead are being indulged and pampered to the point they become uncontrollable brats. These dogs are unhappy, BTW. Unhappy as they cannot find anyone to lead them, unhappy as they do not know right from wrong, unhappy as there is no way for them to predict how their actions will be received (sometimes they are allowed to do this-or-that; other times they are not). Fearful dogs with poor human leadership bark, charge, growl, snap, howl & just generally run amok while their frustrated owners reach the end of their rope trying to cope with a huge & out of control animal.
    WHAT TO DO: *Become* your dog's leader. Not it's
    "doggie parent" or loving "mommie" but it's PACK LEADER. That is what all dogs yearn for & it makes a soft tempered Dane neurotic to have to do without clear guidance, explicit rules & real leadership. Stop excusing behavior & instead set guidelines both fair & strict. Then follow them. NO exception. NEver or always. That is a dog's world.
    HOW TO DO IT: Start early & never stop. What you want as an adult, expect from the pup. Don't think they will grow out of bad behaviour; dogs rather grow into bad habits they start as babies. Don't think that dogs "suddenly" become aggressive--they don't (unless they are neurologically defective & that is really rare). They are led slowly by their owners to think that their behaviour is acceptable & that bad behavior just gets more obvious over time, and eventually the owners are stuck with what they created--and never knew would come. Dogs left to run thru the house, rough-house with kids, who are not made to wait at the door, ask for their dinner, etc. will end up "aggressive". What owners don't know is they are TELLING the dog, BYy INDULGING IT: "You can rule here." IT is then, for a dog, only natural, to show aggression, as they dog thinks it is the leader & in charge. Leaders lead & leaders take control. If you want to control your dog, you must lead. This is NOT "your fault" so don't get guilty--get moving & get it fixed. Realize you don't "speak dog" very well, know that is the problem (typical of new owners, so normal, but the source of your troubles, so you need to change) & ONLY YOU can fix it. Realize if you don't you are going to have big problems & understand that 7:10 who have aggression problems in their dogs get rid of them--it's serious business--esp. with the over 1 million children bitten ever year, not to mention dog fights.
    SPECIFICALLY: #1. Go read the archives. LIZK gave some good advice, so has Carol & Carolyn even wrote out the "Boot Camp for Dogs." If you are having ANY aggression problems with your dog you need to learn to be a leader, so go read this &
    #2. Go read some trainers like Suzzane Clothier:
    www.flyingdogpress.comwho talk about how to take command of your situation & how to better "speak dog." Go read Campbell, etc. I've got a lot of the real experts listed at the bottom of my CHROMALINX:
    #3. Get yourself in a formal training class &/or hire a professional trainer for you (not your dog). *YOU* need help knowing how to train & how to interact with your dog properly--learn that & your dog's problems will usually just go away.
    #4. NEUTER & neuter young. A lot of behaviour problems in dogs, esp. males could be avoided if people would neuter before the dog reaches sexual maturity. If you neuter BY (not after) 6 mo., you can avoid what only has a 50-50 chance of getting fixed after that.
    #5. START AS YOU WOULD GO ON & BE A CONSISTENT, FAIR AND CARING LEADER. You are training your dog all the time. Think about what your actions are saying to your dog, instead of thinking about how you like or don't like his behaviour. If you convey the right message, he'll show you the right behaviour. It really *IS* as simple as that. As a wise dog-handler & policeman once told me: "You get the dog you deserve." You'll have a wonderful dog if you can concentrate on how to be a wonderful leader. Good luck to all having problems--read, think, train! regards/jpy

  • #2
    RE: What is aggression and what's not

    Thank you so much for seeing the need for people to know that most dogs that seem aggressive are not doing it out of dominance. As I think I have told you I have been assisting at a dog training facility that is generally for people that own dogs as pets and want them to be well mannered. In every class I have taught in the past few months there has been at least one "fear aggressive" dog that the owners just can't seem to see that the humanes are the ones that need to do the majority of learning and changing to get to the point where they have a dog they can trust. I tell them over and over....the dog needs to be able to trust that you(the human) are in control and then the dog will be able to relax. I hope people will read your post and take it to heart and stop denying the fact that they are responsible for changing and showing the dog they are the leader every day all the time. Thanks, Stacie


    • #3
      RE: What is aggression and what's not

      AMEN - Fandamtastic - if people would only learn how to control their dogs from the begining we wouldn't have so many behavior problems. I find that the problems are usually not with the dog but with the training and handling, or lack thereof!!!! BTW Kathy would like to print out your text above and use it in her obedience class.