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You know the old saying “you get more flies with honey”. For some reason or the other, dogs are exempt from the rule. Bullying your dogs, choking or pinching their collar
till they turn blue, pinning them down till they defecate or urinate, shocking them and provoking them to attack in the name of rehabilitating or training them is held up as ideal in our society. There are many popular TV shows that propagate such methods with no objection whatsoever. If you were to do the same to a child, you would end up in jail.You do not have to hurt or threaten someone to get them to show respect. When dainty trainers can control their Rottweiler without any incidence of brutality, there is no reason for a grown man to choke a Chihuahua to get it to behave. However, you will see that happening in training centers all over the United States. The fact remains that if you are mean to your dog, you’re more likely to get bitten. Physical methods like kicking and hitting, holding down the dog (alpha roll, dominance down), taking things away from him forcibly or grabbing him by the jowls, all elicit aggressive responses in over a quarter of the dogs.Most of the pet dogs that exhibit aggressive behavior towards the owner are afraid or have an anxiety disorder. Studies conducted by certified behaviorists confirm this reading. Let us try to understand this from the perspective of the dog – you cannot speak English and your mental capacity is not more than that of a one year old kid. You look up to your caretaker, but you are anxious about him. You do not want him to take your bones away. It increases your blood pressure. Strangely, you do not have this problem with any other dog – they can see when your face has a worried look, your gaze is averted and the whites of your eyes show. They understand it and walk away. But your human father acts very differently. You don’t understand why someone who loves you would want to take away your bone
. You get even more anxious and end up biting him the next time he comes to take it away. Does this seem a little far-fetched? It really isn’t. You can see this happening every day.What can you do instead?
- Work with a trainer who applies positive reinforcement. If what they do does not sit well with your conscience, do not do it.
- If your dog has behavioral issues like excess aggression, consult an expert. Look for a board-certified behaviorist.
- Never do something to a dog that you would not want to be done to you. No yelling to the face or physical stuff. That creates fear and makes them aggressive.
- Give a clear structure to your dog and establish boundaries from the day you adopt him. Let him know clearly what you expect.
- If you are in doubt, assess the situation. You are more intelligent than a dog and you can make him understand your wants using your brain. If you have communication barriers, take the help of a professional.