This One Mistake Could Lead To Aggression In Your Dog

A big part of my business is working with aggressive dogs.

After leaving a client's house the other day I was talking to my wife Rach and said: “I think it’s time to invest in some kevlar gloves and pants.”

I wasn’t kidding.

In my younger days I had no problem jumping in and working with aggressive dogs without protection.

To quote Oscar Wilde: “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.”

Anyway, there are many reasons why a dog can become aggressive. Some due to environment, some due to handling and some due to training.

Which leads us to today’s topic:

Prong collars.

There is no denying that you can get very fast results using one. There is no denying that many dogs walk politely at the owner’s side with one on.

Here is my warning to you.

If you decide to participate in a group class with a prong collar, you could walk out at the end of the course with a reactive, dog aggressive dog.

Here’s why.

There is a term called “superstitious behavior” that can happen with a group of dogs on prong collars together.

If your dog is on a prong collar and you are in a group class there is a good chance that your dog will pull and try to greet the other dogs. Since your dog is pulling you apply a nifty leash correction to bring your dog under control.

The correction your dog feels could be associated with the other dog. The correction is NOT associated with pulling, it is associated with the sight of the other dog.

If this happens a few times with a few different dogs your dog will….

….generalize the behavior.

Now you have a problem.

Superstitious behavior is real and it happens all the time. Many of the reactive dogs I worked with developed the problem because of the prong collar in a group class.

Prong collars generally don’t help dogs that are aggressive on leash. They often make the behavior worse.

Don’t despair. There is help for your dog.

Below is a link for a video I did with a big, reactive Rotti. I was able to help train this dog in one session from being super reactive to accepting and friendly.

Check it out here:

Reactive Dog Video

Best,

Eric

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