Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When to call a trainer!

This will be a short and sweet entry today. At least twice a month I receive calls from folks who have dogs that are 5 years or older who have aggression or scary behavioral issues. That's ok, but what is always the same old same old is that when I ask how long this has been going on the usual answer is since they were young (like even six months!). When I ask why they waited so long to call me about it it's usually because the behavior is getting worse, or, the dog bit someone and they are in trouble. NOW they want to someone to "fix it" for them.

I guess I'm always surprised at the blinders folks can put on when it comes to the behavior of their dogs. Please please please, if your dog starts growling at you over a bone, food, space, or shows fear of children or people...CALL a trainer or behavioralist immediately. Don't "wait" to see if he will hurt someone (or you!). Dog's toss out tons of flags before they ever get to the behaviors I get called on about. Read those flags - if your dog is suddenly getting possessive, don't make excuses for him (i.e., well, I did after all push him off the couch, he just got mad!). Nope, no reason ever for your dog to bite or snarl at you unless he's in pain or afraid. It's so much easier for me to help folks out when this was just the first episode for the dog vs. the dog has had many many "rehearsals" doing the behavior and now I have to retrain or re-address it.

Bottom line - "nip" it in the bud! I always say it's easier to correct a small problem than to wait until it's big!

Have a super dooper holiday weekend. Hope you have fun things planned for both yourself and that some of those plans include those pups of yours! My Everee just got back from sheep camp, so I'm actually getting to see her completely pooped out for the first time ever! It's great to see a dog tired out from doing what they love to do - for her it's sheep!

Take care

Deb, Everee (the border collie) Corky (the yorky) Eli (the bloodhound!)

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