Little things turn into big things-What causes dog aggression & bad dog behaviour?
This website is particularly dear to my heart because it’s about raising a good dog, to prevent yet another dog being given up on because of poor behaviour or because of continuous poor health. People have dogs euthanized for a variety of reasons, aggression, poor health, bad manners etc. Lack of or just bad training, failing or poor health, and even genetics (to a smaller degree) all play a role. Its a tipping point, little things can make big difference
Poor health as in allergies, hot spots, ear infections escalating to kidney and liver problems, cancers etc. begin as a series of small things (big things to me)…poor quality of food, unhealthy treats, smoking around your dog will gradually take their toll on your dog’s health, step by step by step. Unfortunately, our dog’s foods as well as our own, have become contaminated with various toxins and chemicals which assault our immune systems.
Genetics play a role too, breeders are (mostly unknowingly) creating dogs with weak immune systems that cannot handle the load of toxins in the dogs food and environment. Unless we take complete control of the food chain, raising our own meats and vegetables in strictly clean environments and feed our critters accordingly… we are (all of us) at the mercy of others in this.
Dogs in poor health are often euthanized or abandoned because their owners do not want to or can’t pay the vet bills. Dog owners might also choose to euthanize because they are tired of the constant health issues their dogs has. It should make sense then that feeding your dogs the best food, the best treats by ingredients, will create a healthy dog.
I think most people who love dogs, genuinely start off with good intentions
Things go horribly wrong, not over night, but so gradually sometimes that the dog owners have not really noticed until really bad things start happening.
That is human nature, to ignore or make excuses for seemingly small mis behaviours in their critters but also with the relationships we have with others. If a child for instance, is not corrected for seemingly small things like purposefully burping or farting to get a laugh, throwing food while having a meal, pulling another child’s hair, interrupting an adult who is speaking on the phone or to another person… those behaviours gradually snowball into other bad behaviours.
How many of us know a parent that complains that their ‘child used to be such a good kid’ and now their once adorable child has turned into this unpleasant person that gives everyone grief! Likewise, with a dog, or any critter you have care of, little things turn into big things.
The good news with dogs is,
that correcting a dogs behavior is often as simple as going back to the little things that started the slide towards the bad behavior in the first place! That my dear readers, takes knowledge, a lot of patience and a certain amount of empathy and love to achieve. Never overlook the impact of diet and health of the dog either. Improve the diet of the dog in question and you will improve on the behaviors too.
When an unwanted behaviour is allowed to grow and take root in your dog, it will take a certain amount of firmness sometimes to get your new message across. By firmness, a quick and firm tap with your hand, a quick tap with your foot, a sharp tug on a leash, a sharp loud vocal sound etc. at the RIGHT MOMENT are often needed.
An even harsher reaction is needed when someone’s life is in danger. A little tap or spank is not going to stop a dog that is intent on killing another dog, a cat, or a person. A normal dog will discipline another dog with the tools at his disposal, a growl as a warning, a sharp bark, a nip with the teeth, or an all out brawl with one dog winding up underneath the other.
Cesar Milan has sometimes been criticized
for rougher handling but when he is dealing with a dog with entrenched rooted bad behaviours, a firmer handling is required at the right time. Timing is crucial. The same people who start Facebook Hate groups or hate filled Blogs ranting against Cesar’s methods, are undoubtedly people who have created dogs with problems themselves or have no experience of dogs at all (or they just generally choose to hate).
As a reasonably experienced horsewoman as well, I have witnessed all too many times, of people either over disciplining a horse to the point of abuse or not disciplining a horse at all, resulting in the horse walking all over the human. Animals need fair discipline. Animals become very confused by a lack of discipline and they do perceive that as a weakness to be exploited for their own benefit!
That is the nature of animals, for their survival.
Animals will discipline each other when lines are crossed regarding natural respect according to body language. A mother will discipline her young to teach them what’s what. I have witnessed this many times in real life and in videos from others experiences. We humans, have to take that a few steps further when we include animals into our circles. There are many more rules needed in the world of humans, than there are in the animal world.
Dogs are able to discern the difference between our human rules and the ‘rules’ that dogs have amoung themselves. For instance, my young dog Ciro knows that he can put his paws on my older dog in play, but he is never allowed to jump up on a human. Ciro and Sirius both know this and respect the rules that humans have placed on them. Both dogs regularily use their teeth on each other in play, but it’s a big no no with humans.
If I allowed them to jump up on us, grab us with their teeth, push us out of their way, what do you think I am teaching them? Little things can make big difference, don’t underestimate them. What causes dog aggression and bad dog behaviour can be as easy as allowing small behaviours to slide…A happy content dog thrives in a home with firm and fair rules, don’t you agree? Part Two of Little things turn into big things...
For the Page What does a Dog need?
For the Page Trauma