Picture this - it's a lovely day, and you are relaxing at a local park, having a picnic with your family. A well-dressed lady you've never met before with a large smile on her face exits her car. She automatically lays eyes on your family and begins staring. Slowly, she moves toward you, speaking gibberish and making baby talk, googly eyes, and grabby hands. She begins touching your children, grabbing their cheeks. She grabs one by the face, moves her face to within inches of baby Tommy's, staring directly into his eyes and smiling. She grabs your husband by the ears, sits on his lap, and firmly plants her lips on his mouth. She gives you a little squeeze on the rump, hugs you tightly, and scratches your 8 year old's head. Nearby stands your 3 year old nephew, she quickly grabs his shoulders firmly and begins applying downward pressure, while saying, "SIT! SIT! SIT!"
Another potential client contacted me this week to “fix” her dog that she dropped off at a “boot camp” for two weeks.
I have heard this scenario many times over the years. Her dog was aggressive and a trainer told her that “she needed to show it who is boss” and she believed him. She dropped her dog off in the care of this “dog trainer” who assured her that her problems would be solved when she picked her dog up. Two weeks later she went to pick her dog up and to her horror her dog was not only still aggressive, but was visibly shaken and scared. This trainer used choke chains, prong collars, “shake cans” and alpha rolls and surprise, surprise – caused her dog to be more fearful and aggressive.
There are no quick fixes in dog training! So many people want to ship their dog off to someone and get back a dog that is “fixed”. It usually isn’t that simple. When a dog is fearful (fear and aggression usually go hand in hand) doing things to that dog that cause more fear or pain are often times not going to work! Shipping your dog off to a boarding / training scenario allows the dog to perform for the trainer on-site. But your dog will revert back to its old self as soon as he goes home. In order for your dog to change, YOU must first change.
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