If the guidelines below don’t work then call an experienced dog trainer
in your area. He will help you.
Situation: The dog of Mr. Smith barks at another dog
Example: Calming the Dog – NO
“Stay calm! All is well, no reason to get excited!”
“My boss thinks that I do the right thing. He likes my barking.”
How does this misunderstanding happen? Mr. Smith does not know that his dog can’t understand his words. The dog just picks up the sound of the voice and observes the body language of his owner.
He relates the friendly words to his behavior and thinks he is doing the right thing because he gets cuddled and his owner talks nicely to him.
If you calm your aggressive dog he can misunderstand this as a reward.
Example: Punishing the Dog – NO
“Shut up now! Keep quiet!”
“My boss is very excited about the other dog like me. He helps me to attack him.”
The dog does not understand the words but picks up the excitement of the owner and relates this to the other dog.
Result: Next time your dog will bark again when he sees another dog.
You should not shout at your aggressive dog as he misunderstands this as barking and helping him to fight the other dog. And if you punish your dog he might turn around and bites you.
Mr. Smith turns around to disrupt the situation and walks quietly away with his dog on the leash without saying anything to get away from the situation.
He should avoid situations like that in the future. When he sees a dog coming then he should put his dog on the leash early and keeps him busy with something else. He should concentrate the dog upon himself giving him dog treats until he is past the other dog. It is a good idea to get professional help from a dog trainer.
Example: Your Dog is on your Sofa and growls at you.
How should you react?
Turn away without saying a word.
It is not the right time to train your dog when you get threatened by him. To punish or to calm him are the wrong measurements. Just walk away. The growling shows you that there is a problem between you and your dog.
It might solve the problem if you show the dog in future that you are the boss and that you decide everything and not him through consequent training and behavior.
Don’t let your dog sleep on furniture from then on. Keep him on the leash to be able to pull him from the sofa in future without saying a word. Do this from a safe distance.
What you should not do
– Don’t shout at the dog
– Don’t beat the dog
– Don’t try to push the dog from the sofa
It is too dangerous to ignore the growling and sit right beside him. If you punish him it could end in a fight and he could bite you. If you shout or beat him he will learn that it is not enough to growl and will bite or snap at you the next time. Dogs constantly learn, never forget that!
Even if you win a fight against him, this will not solve the problem as you don’t treat the cause.
The growling is just a warning, you have to find and cure the reason behind it. Do this later on and not while you are threatened.
When he is growling you should not talk to the dog or calm him and don’t offer him food. If you do this he learns that it is a good thing to growl as he gets nice words and food. You reward him for growling. Next time he will growl again!
I assume your dog thinks that he is the boss so it is his right to control valuable ressources like the sofa. You should become the boss again through training your dog and consequent behavior. Use the help of a dog trainer if necessary.
Dog and Food
Situation: Your dog growls at you when you approach his food bowl.
If the dog is growling at you as soon as you come close to his food, turn away quietly.
There is something wrong in your relationship with your dog that you must change.
What You should never do
– Don’t shout
– Don’t punish him
– Don’t beat him
– Don’t take away his food
– Don’t calm him
– Don’t talk nicely to him
– Don’t give him any other food
Just turn away quietly and go away
In future don’t take away any food from your dog. He should not think that you are a competitor for his food. Let the dog follow the SIT Command and wait before you place the food bowl on the floor. Let him eat in peace. Later on when he is gone you can take his bowl.