With over 10 years of experience working with dogs, I’ve come across and found solutions or coping mechanisms for most problems, including most forms of aggression. Two things that are important to keep in mind:
- Dogs are pack animals that are hardwired for a pack hierarchy, and while love is important, falling into the wrong position in the pecking order can lead to many problems.
- Your dog is an individual with a genetic personality, as well as a history of experiences, which together can form the foundation of his/her behavior. If you try to be the leader without understanding your dog, it’s possible that you could be causing trauma, or just missing the mark, so both are important.
I’ll talk a bit about those two points now. If your dog sees themselves as the highest ranking pack member, they will likely feel the need to protect the home, protect the pack on walks, discipline guests, etc. So, being seen as very strong, and able to protect and lead the pack lets your dog relinquish control and therefore many problem behaviors. Naturally dominant dogs need this leadership more than others. I can help show you how to get this respect at key moments. But also, I’ve found that by understanding who your dog is naturally, as well as any trauma/learning experiences from their past which are currently affecting their behavior, you can be the leader that they need you to be, without overdoing it, or underdoing it. (A common example of a more complex personality is a reactive personality that may be built upon a previous experience of your dog being hurt while emotionally vulnerable, in which case being “tough” on your dog is actually emotionally damaging to them, because the personality comes from being sensitive in the first place.) So it’s helpful to heal any trauma or trust issues, in my opinion, before gaining the respect and leadership position. This is especially true of rescue dogs. Once you have the trust and an emotionally healed dog, it’s very important to gain respect, and have your dog view you as an alpha, which allows them to feel that you are strong enough to protect them, which can very quickly dissipate problems such as leash aggression and any sort of hierarchical problems.
Please call or email for pricing. If for some reason I am not able to help you, I will not charge you.
If your dog needs to be put into a pack for extended rehabilitation, I will refer you to Brandon Fouche. (Brandonfouche.com). Brandon is the only person that I have met and been truly amazed by with regards to dogs. His understanding and example provided me with answers I had been searching for for years, and I am sincerely grateful for the amount of time, pain and struggle that this saved me. He also helped get my own dog, Layla, past her severe dog aggression, and I will often have severely aggressive dogs go through his pack before entering the pack hikes, if I feel it’s necessary.