Dog Attacks: The Spoiled Dog – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist

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Sam Basso
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
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I have been observing dog attack trends for quite a while, and have observed the following:

I have seen a number of dog attacks within the home, on children, as a result of spoiling the home dogs. When you “spoil” a dog, you are raising the status of the dog relative to the humans in the home, and that can result in aggression.

Spoiling means to overindulge, give excessive and unwarranted praise, and to coddle. Often one or the other, or both, parents enforce no manners, thus no rules or limits on the dog’s behavior. The initial result is a more insecure dog. The dog isn’t made to deal with life as a normal dog, so they never achieve normal behavior patterns by dealing with the normal stresses of life. Later, those normal stresses, when not monitored by the owners, cause the dog to be more likely to bite out of fear or defensive aggression. Further, you see the dog starting to become over attached to one spouse, gaining status as a result, and then interposing itself between family members, oftentimes growling when the spouse or child comes to hug or approach the other spouse, and you see the dog starting to growl when you pet the dog when the dog doesn’t want petting. The dog is also allowed to become overly territorial, because the dog isn’t made to leave guests and strangers alone. Further, rough housing with the dog is permitted, allowing the dog to play bite the people in the home, giving the dog permission to put its teeth on family members, reducing the dog’s inhibition to bite later on. Lastly, there is resistance in the family, among one or more of the adults to obedience training, supervising, containing, and managing the dog. Oftentimes, one family member coddles the dog and won’t correct the dog for misbehavior.

Further, there is the training issue. I have seen more and more bite cases as a result of people trying to implement “purely positive” training methods, such as clicker training, on their dogs. Dogs need positives in the training. Absolutely! I use treats, toys, games, petting, praise and all kinds of affection with all the dogs I work with. On the other hand, there are also rules, enforcement of rules, expectations regarding manners, consistency regarding the training and rules, and corrections when necessary. I don’t let the dogs get spoiled, and thus, the dogs are less likely to bite. I have a very hard time explaining to some dog owners that their pampering approach is the cause of the dog being so fearful and being so dangerous.

Politically correct dog training isn’t the same as correct dog training. Either train a dog properly, or risk a dog attack. It is that simple.