“I guess I’m just quite observant and I pay attention to a lot of things. Human behavior really fascinates me.”
– Ellie Goulding
I like that quote because I could have written it.
People ask me all the time: “Where do you come up with ideas to write this email everyday.”
All I really do is keep my head on a swivel and look for ideas. I then make sure I take some quick notes so I can deliver this educational, informative, highly entertaining daily email.
This past weekend was July 4th, one of my favorite holidays here in the States.
I could give you a long list of reasons why but I know you’re busy this morning and have come here for hard hitting, practical dog training advice so I’ll keep this moving along by talking about….
…..my 17 month old daughter Scarlett.
You see, every Independance Day my parents put on a big family clam boil. They live right on the water so it is a great place to spend the day and bring the kids.
My daughter was playing with her cousin by the water and I was watching them.
Here is what interested me:
While they were playing, my wife Rachael brought a bucket over for them to play with.
Through my expert eyes I knew trouble was brewing. One bucket was not going to cut it with two kids.
I was correct. They both wanted the bucket.
This is where my dog training skillz kicked in and helped me being a parent. Other parents would say place nice, tell them to share, maybe scold them, separate them or even (gasp) punish them.
Not me because I understand resources.
Increase resources, decrease conflict.
So in this situation a few more toys added to the mix would resolve the problem, which is exactly what I did.
My wife was amazed, my relatives cheered, the clouds parted, the sun became brighter and all was right with the world.
Not really. Rach just smiled and asked me to go get a towel. So much for my brilliance.
Anyway, here’s my point.
Dogs will become aggressive around toys, food, people, etc because that is how they resolve conflict.
Punishment will only increase the aggression. Instead of using punishment, see if you can increase the resources.
A dog will guard one bone or one food dish but will have a difficult time when there are ten bones or four food dishes.
Before leaving let me add this:
Aggression is tricky to deal with. One place that a dog will become aggressive is on leash. This is easy to understand. Every creature has fight or flight installed into their behavior for survival reasons.
When you put a dog on leash the option to flee is null and void which means the dog will default to fight.
In our classes we help dog owners how to avoid aggression on leash.
It’s really easy and very effective.
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