Correct Behaviors Before It Becomes a Problem
Despite how much we might love our dogs, no dog is perfect! Even the best-behaved dogs usually have a few bad habits or behaviors. So many people call me and express concerns that their dog isn’t “bad enough” for in-home training. They often tell me that they think the dog will just grow out of it.
Unfortunately, however, most behavioral issues don’t just go away. In fact, if left ignored and uncorrected, they usually get much worse!
So many of the people I work with have dogs that are simply out of control. Whether they struggle with aggression, hyperactivity, or separation anxiety, their dog’s bad behavior is seriously impacting both their relationship with their dog and their daily life. But these dogs weren’t just born this way! While many clients express shock that their once sweet dog has developed such bad behavior, seemingly “out of nowhere,” it’s often possible to see how the behavioral problem developed over time. Often, a behavioral problem begins as something small and, as it is continuously ignored, develops into a larger problem and a severe behavioral issue.
For example, I once worked with a client whose dog had bitten her recently. She said the behavior totally took her off guard and that the dog suddenly bit her when she tried to pick up her food bowl. However, at our initial in-home consultation, I learned that the dog had increasingly been protective of her food, and even begun growling when people approached her while she was eating. Instead of correcting the bad behavior at the start, they had fearfully backed off the dog and given her even more space with her food, fueling the dog’s opinion that the food was hers to rightfully guard.
This happens so often! Something fairly small like being protective of food turns into growling and then food aggression. Rough play turns into playful nipping and then into aggressive play. Or hiding under the bed when you leave turns into hiding and anxious whimpering followed by hiding for longer periods of time and fearful howling.
But it doesn’t have to get out of hand! You, as the owner, have the power to fix an issue before it gets uncontrollable. This is why training is so critical, because it allows us to correct behaviors before they become serious problems. People often seem afraid to come to me with smaller problems, but I’d much rather work on correcting those than a more serious issue! There really is no behavioral issue too small.
If you think your dog is uncontrollable or just want to fix a dog’s bad habits before it turns into something more serious, call me at 800.649.7297 or via our contact form. I’ll work with you to create a customized training plan that ensures your dog is the best possible companion.