Dazzle Dog Delight Archive Page
Monday, August 30, 2010
The conversation around aggressive dog training is as controversial as it is complex.  There are two key factors to understanding aggression in dogs: 1) there are multiple types of dog aggression that require different types of dog training methods and 2) the human tendency to anthropomorphize dogs leads to misunderstanding and the misapplication of many dog training techniques.  The most common forms of aggression in dogs are: dog-to-dog aggression, dog-to-human aggression, fear aggression, dog food aggression, and possession aggression.  Each of these are separate issues (though the resulting behaviors can look the same to the human eye) requiring different solutions.  Also, a dog jockeying for status or asserting his or her dominance is not necessarily displaying aggression, even though the accompanying barking or growling may make it appear so to a concerned owner.

Aggressive behavior dog training, then, must begin with an understanding of the root cause of your dog’s aggression.  Dogs do not show signs of aggression for the same reasons people do; nor do they react to external stimuli in the same ways people do.  For example, if you return home late from work and your dog barks and growls at you it might be almost automatic to think, “Oh, I came home late and he’s mad at me.”  But this is a very human interpretation of a canine behavior.  Dogs are very black-and-white creatures: they know safe and unsafe, stressed and relaxed, stable and unstable, etc.  The notion of punishing a human for hurting his feelings does not figure in to dog psychology.

The answer, then, is never as simple as buying a dog training leash and yanking away until your dog behaves respectfully.  In fact, this practice will almost certainly cause more harm and exacerbate the situation.  An understanding of the dog training tools that are relevant to your dog’s specific form of aggression will yield effective training that is satisfying to both dog and owner alike.  While there are many dog training techniques that can be researched and carried out by a conscientious owner, it is important to note that if your dog is biting people, or you or your family feel afraid to be around your dog, it is vital you contact a certified dog trainer for professional assistance.

Resources:
private interview with leading California certified dog trainer


by Joy Randel

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Thursday, August 19, 2010
        Next week is National Dog Day and so today I am wondering how I can show my dog Rocket how much I appreciate him?   Rocket loves chasing tennis balls so next week I will take him to his favorite dog park and throw some balls.  There are so many different options available to launch a tennis ball.  I usually use the traditional ball launcher that is the stick with the ball scoop on the end.  Another option is that you can use a Hyperdog doggie driver which looks like a golf club with a ball scoop.  You swing the doggie driver like a golf club and it launches the ball.  One of the reasons we named our dog Rocket is because he runs like a greyhound.  I throw the ball and he runs so fast that he is back with the ball in his mouth for another throw in a blink of an eye.  Many times when someone is throwing a ball for their dog he out runs their dog and takes the other dog’s ball.  Rocket especially loves to chase a ball or toy that we throw in the water.  He could spend an hour just chasing toys in the water.
     After we have our play time, I will pamper Rocket by giving him one of his favorite treats, dried sweet potato and a good brushing.  He loves to be brushed because to him it is like getting a really great back rub.  First, I will get him to lie down on the floor and then I will start brushing against the direction of the growth of his fur.  I usually do small sections at a time and brush from head to tail and then next I will brush from tail to head in the direction of hair growth. 
     Rocket has food allergies so his skin gets itchy when he eats the wrong foods.  He scavenges loquats and apples during his morning walk which makes his skin very itchy and the brushing relieves it.  Whenever I give him a brushing, he loves his brushing so much he turns over on his back so I can also give him a tummy rub.  I plan to give Rocket a tummy rub until he is so comfortable that he falls into a light sleep. 
     Rocket will love what I have planned for National Dog Day. What are you doing for your dog this week and what does your dog love?



by Joy Randel

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