All too many times, dog and puppy owners register a complaint with whoever will listen: ‘My dog behaves badly’, or ‘I don’t know what to do about my dog’s behavior’.
This is not a small situation. Thousands of dog trainers attempt to help bewildered owners deal with the ‘behavior’ issue. Indeed, there are numerous cable shows dedicated to showing viewers how to ‘handle’ behavioral problems in canines.
Here’s a unique twist on the whole canine behavior issue: What if, just IF the behavior problem your dog or puppy is manifesting came from some place other than its own canine mind? What if, perhaps the owner/handler was in some way contributing to the behavior (good or bad) of their animal?
It is a fact that a very young pup is like a blank slate. They have very little experience, training or other information to use canine judgment to make most decisions. That is why you, as the owner, need to crate train, socialize, house train, obedience train your young dog and continue with this process throughout its adult life.
So, if you are the one imprinting the animal with all of this stuff, all of this repetitive exposure to various things, wouldn’t it make sense that you could possibly be imprinting (or allowing to be imprinted) the dog with unwanted behavior as well?
Here’s an example: Someone takes ownership of an eight week old pup. Having not fully grasped the above concept, they take the young dog out for walks, all the while allowing the pup to forge (pull) the owner all over the place. Now, by the time the pup is a year old, the owner cannot control this forging and the dog is now getting into fights with other dogs while walking, pulling the owner to the ground and so on.
If the owner could not see the issue they were creating with this permissive lack of obedience in leash work, they would certainly at this point see the result of over a year of repetitive bad training as they are dragged to the ground while their eighty pound dog makes a run for the UPS guy.
Could this have been prevented? Of course. But first, it takes an understanding that YOU are the one in charge of your dog’s behavior. The first moment you complain about your dog, you need to step back and take a look at exactly what the dog is doing. Destructive chewing? How about crate training the dog and giving it a bone in its crate? Pulling on the leash? How about properly leash training the dog to obey you and walk along your side or at least to stop forging? Dogs do stupid things because their masters ALLOW them to do these things.
If you think a dog has the native intelligence to do you harm or dream up some plan to ruin your life, then your are really, actually, not a person who should own a dog.
1. The handler, as trainer, is the ultimate cause of all behavior issues with their dog. If you do not wish to train your dog and instead allow it to train itself, you basically will reap what you sow.
2. All situations can be resolved with dog training. The type of training may be highly situational and may require a good amount of time to complete, but is nonetheless achievable.
Hope this helps.