Barking, aggression, pulling on the lead, lack of recall…

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Barking, aggression, pulling on the lead, lack of reliable recall?  If you are experiencing any (or all!) of these behaviours with your dog perhaps you need to look a bit closer. Many of my clients tell me that their dog is allowed to jump up onto the settee or chair whenever it likes.  Almost all of these dogs have their own basket/bed to sleep on.  Many of them also like to occupy another area in the house as a favourite resting place, on the landing, by the front door, back of the chair (looking out of the window)t.  I ask my clients if these places are comfortable, they tell me that they assume so but they have never tried them!  It is the right of the Alpha figure to sleep where it wishes but nobody sleeps in its bed.  Barking, some forms of aggression, pulling on the lead, lack of recall are just a few of the problems I am asked to help owners with.  Dogs who exhibit unwanted behaviours are not necessarily bad, disobedient or aggressive dogs; they are usually just dogs who are accepting the responsibilities with which we have unwittingly burdened them. If we take a look at some of the rights and privileges that are afforded to the Alpha figure and compare them with the way some of us live with our dogs, we can start to see where the communication between the species starts to break down and how we can end up with what we term as a problem or disobedient dog.  We, as humans attempt to teach the dog our values.  The dog is only capable of understanding canine values. My clients don’t always make the connection between how they live with their dog, their relationship and the problem/disobedient dog that they have unwittingly created.  These dogs are more than happy to give up all of the responsibilities afforded to them by their owner.  Their owner just needs to know how to ‘Think dog!’

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