Are you Creating a Dangerous Dog?

In the wrong hands, a dog who is strong willed, with a powerful personality and driven tempermant OR a dog who is insecure, anxious, and lacking confidence....

...can be DANGEROUS.

And it's not from owners "raising them wrong" by being mean or harsh.

It's actually by these dogs living with owners who don't share believable boundaries, set clear guidelines, and issue fair and consistent consequences. It's often by being loved too much, and told what to do too little.

It's by not fulfilling the dog's need for direction, guidance, rules, boundaries, limitations, consistency, exercise, and discipline so that there is an understood "job" and role for the driven dog - or predictability and known status in the pack for the anxious dog.

It's by intentionally (or unintentionally) developing entitled dogs who have access to more privileges than they've earned.

It's by feeling sorry for and over coddling the insecure and anxious dogs while also giving too much household power and liberty to the strong willed ones.

It's by letting little moments of pushy, rude, or inappropriate behavior go un-addressed...all the while still trying to make rules and have influence during big, scary, or dangerous moments of behavior.

The little moments that aren't addressed (and are often missed or overlooked) are most important, because they are where the danger lies.

Those moments of latitude for poor choices on small boundary pushing or inappropriate behaviors are what develop the DANGEROUS and "now we have a problem" BIG moments.

You typically won't stop the big moments by tackling them head on. But what you can do is change the state of mind of the dog about what is OK and isn't by addressing and teaching during the smaller, seemingly unimportant - but actually very relationship defining - little moments.

These important lessons for a dog to learn are what makes the difference between a dog who thinks about their actions and makes good desicions when faced with triggers that stress/aggitate/arouse/excite them...and a dog who does something impulsive and potentially dangerous to themselves or others like: jumping up, biting, fighting, lunging and barking, resource guarding, having an anxiety meltdown when left alone, charging guests and territorial barking, growling, or simply dismissing what you're telling them at very important and distracting times.

And, in the right hands - with strong leadership, advocacy, utilized protocols/management that set everyone up for success, understanding and respecting our dog's limitations while always challenging them to be better, and constitently applying a balance of affection and discipline - these dogs can be safe, fun, and live long fulfilling lives.

Are you creating a dangerous dog or enriching the life of a slightly complicated, but safer, one?

dangerous dog