Yesterday was a lot of fun in Fall River.
I had a booth at a local event called The Bark In The Park in Fall River.
Saw a lot of great dogs and people. I also was surprised by a few of the dogs and their owners. I was walking past this one booth and there was a German Shepherd on a prong collar.
The Shepherd was snapping at a guy trying to pet him. The owner yanked back on the leash telling the Shepherd to calm down. The person approached again and the dog again snapped missing the guy by millimeters.
I was amazed at what happened next. They repeated the process and the dog again snapped catching the guy on the hand this time.
I was tempted to step in but that would have made matters worse.
I could imagine the scene in my head:
“Excuse me, I’m the Amazing Dog Training Man and your dog is extremely agitated and what you are doing is making it worse. Much worse. You should ask this person to back off, get your dog OFF the prong collar and do some conditioning exercises to help him associate people in a positive way.”
I’m sure the response would have been:
“Amazing Dog Training WHAT? *&#%^@ GET OUT OF MY FACE!”
I learned long ago unsolicited advice falls on deaf ears and to NEVER give it. But since you tuned into today’s highly educational and entertaining informational email, I’ll expand on what happened.
German Shepherds as a breed tend to be a little aloof and stress easily. Putting a prong collar on them and expecting to use it to control the situation can quickly go from bad to worse.
The dog above was stressed and inflicting pain during the stressful situation made it worse. I am always confused why we think that trying to overpower a dog will solve the problem.
Using aggression to deal with aggression ESCALATES aggression.
Which is exactly what was happening.
The German Shepherd’s owner would have been much better off starting the dog on a flat buckle collar and learning about opposition reflex and how to control it.
It’s one of the first steps I talk about and teach on the brand new Leash Walking Secrets Course.
Here is the interesting part. The course costs less than the price of a prong collar on Amazon.
I don’t want to give any unsolicited advice here but if you’re having problems with your dog on leash you should go here NEXT: