Bullying And Dog Training

If you train dogs long enough, you will encounter bullies who will interfere in the training.

I vividly remember several of these instances. I remember a fearful Boxer that was owned by a couple in Issaquah, WA many years ago. The husband was a jerk through the entire lesson and the wife acted very intimidated the entire time. I called her a few minutes after the lesson and told her I knew what was going on. I asked her if she was safe or needed me to call the police. She told me not to do that, he was getting counseling and working on his anger. I could tell from the entire situation, including the behavior of the dog, that this was a case of serious spousal abuse. That’s why the dog was fearful. I just couldn’t say it in front of him because of the risk to the dog and to his wife. I’ve seen varying degrees of this my entire career. This bully was the real problem, not the dog.

There was this other couple who had an unruly Rottweiler mix. He was a good dog, just out of control because of conflicting messages. The wife and daughters tried to work with the dog, and the husband would undo it all. When we did the lesson, he kept making excuses for why it was OK for him to do whatever he wanted. Then, he’d gulp down a can of beer. As the lesson went on, he kept interjecting, the wife and daughters kept trying to explain to him that he’d have to work with the dog differently. He got angrier and angrier as the lesson went on. As we went over each behavioral issue, I gave them an action plan for that behavior, and demonstrated how to do it. The husband slipped out the door about ¾ of the way along and came back in. When I left the appointment, I noticed a shiny object. He had placed a sharp nail, angled under my right rear tire. I was understandably angered, but I pried the nail away from my tire, walked around my car to see if he had done anything else, and drove away. I’ve encountered a lot of substance abuse problems that directly impacted the dogs involved. This bully was also the real problem.

I can give you numerous examples. After over 20 years of training, you meet all kinds. Some are outright aggressive, others are emotionally manipulative. They are bullies.

Let’s put it this way. If you live with a bully, there is a high probability that your dog’s problems are caused by this person and will never go away.

Intro Video