We were in Alpharetta last week working with a new Home Dog Training client and his Swiss Mountain Dog, Nellie. He had just picked up Nellie a few days before we came out and he was full of questions. We were full of answers and had a long list of things to teach him and Nellie. There were so many things to remember and I let my client know that there he would probably get a few things wrong at the start. But, there is one, very important “drop dead thing” he needs to remember and can’t get wrong.
When puppies are small, it is fun to play rough with them and have them bark, yip, and nip. It is no big deal. You think it is fun and you think the puppy is having a great time too.
When the puppy is small, it isn’t a big deal if he barks or lunges at you; it could even be a little funny. It is a 100% fact is that the puppy is going to get bigger. Some times they can get really, really big.
Once he has grown up and you have engaged in rough play with him all his life, you have now taught your dog that you (and most other humans) are mostly dominant aggressors and may do harm to him. He will naturally respond by lashing out to try and protect himself. Aggression, biting, dominance, and fighting are the tools that your dog will naturally use in this situation. Remember, your dog doesn’t want to do this, but you taught him that this is something that he MUST do.
You now have an aggressive dog that is a danger to you, your family, and the neighborhood. This is a very, very big problem. Correcting this problem requires a great deal of deprogramming and re-socialization. We can never guarantee the safety of anyone near your dog while this process is underway. It is also really hard to know exactly when you have been successful. We have, sadly, had some clients with dogs that could never be successfully deprogrammed. When that happens , they have written the death warrant for “who was supposed to be their best friend”, and it didn’t have to be that way.
NEVER PLAY ROUGH WITH YOUR PUPPY OR ANY DOG.
Please call Robin or myself at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help. We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Alpharetta Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Alpharetta Georgia.