The internet is full of advice about aggressive, fearful and reactive dogs!

Much of the information is confusing: myths about breeds debunked?, behavioral signs revealed (or not), positive behavior training verses negative behavioral techniques, dominance verses leadership. At All About My Dog, we think we can simplify the conversation by describing what we see in our training facility and how we can help.

The internet is full of advice about aggressive, fearful and reactive dogs!

Much of the information is confusing: myths about breeds debunked?, behavioral signs revealed (or not), positive behavior training verses negative behavioral techniques, dominance verses leadership. At All About My Dog, we think we can simplify the conversation by describing what we see in our training facility and how we can help.

Our owner, founder and head behaviorist, Lisa Rockland discovered early in life that she intuitively thinks like a “mother dog” and thus teaches and interacts with dogs in the way nature intended. After a childhood of raising and training dogs on her own in Newton, MA, she earned a BS in Animal Behavior from The Ohio State University. Two of her dogs, Rowdy and Cowboy, earned the award of #1 Competition Obedience Dog in North America, receiving multiple perfect scores in the process. In addition to achieving a second degree black belt in karate, Lisa worked as a vet tech for 11 years and as a dog trainer with private clients and in association with Especially For Pets. In short, Lisa has been helping fearful, reactive and aggressive dogs and the owners who love them for over 40 years. Her success rate is off the charts. (…Just see what her clients are saying!)

My dog barks at people passing by!

Is she aggressive?

Barking is a normal way for dogs to communicate. Excessive barking however—barking that continues after you’ve communicated with your dog to stop (ie thanked them for notifying you), as well as barking accompanied by lunging or snapping are signs that your dog has questions that need to be answered. Questions like: Is that person okay? Are we safe? Happily, once you answer your dog’s questions, their behavior will change.

We can’t walk by other dogs without my dog pulling, lunging, barking or growling!

Is he aggressive?

We think that’s the wrong question. The right question is can I change my dog’s behavior? The answer is yes! Learning to communicate with your dog in a way that your dog understands is essential to forging a strong and natural bond. In this case, your dog might be asking, Are we safe? A simple first answer to this question is to place your dog on the far side of danger, which means STAND OR WALK between your dog and whoever or whatever is coming your way. By doing so, your answer is, Yes, I’m going to keep us both safe.

My dog runs away and/or hides from anything and everything!

Is that okay?

Not so much. Hiding, avoiding contact with humans or dogs, flight, and flinching are just as antisocial as growling, lunging, and biting. All are signs of fear and lack of trust. Again, the good news is these behaviors can change with proper communication. Getting between your dog and the object causing fear—and even touching the object—tells your dog, You don’t need to worry about this thing. Reactivity and fear can result from genetics and environment as easily as from abuse. Whatever the origin of the problem, our job as dog lovers is to help our pups feel protected and regain a normal sense of trust.

These simple answers to your dog’s questions are a great way to start gaining trust. If your dog has more complex issues, additional answers are available. Learn more about our Fearful, Reactive & Aggressive Dog classes here.

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Hi, Check out this post from Barkback, the All About My Dog blog: Is My Dog Aggressive?... https://allaboutmydog.com/is-my-dog-aggressive/