Why it's important to get a trainer to work with you on specific problems.
Just a little story to illustrate something I harp on all the time: the importance of having someone experienced observe your interaction with your dog and the dynamics in your pack to be able to see where mixed signals are given out confusing the dog, and how people-to-dog communications break down.
A person at work got a Rottie a few years ago. She told me her goal was to have her dog as well behaved as mine.
As the pup grew, they had the normal puppy issues, that I tried to give advice on, but it was challenging: the pup got no training, no exercise, pup chewed everything. Took things and ran away with stuff and would start a chase game, was possessive of their daughter (well, at least we know she'll protect her they said when the dog wouldn't allow the parents into the daughter's room), etc. All she talked about was 'getting the dog to submit' to her, etc . . .
I wanted to scream!!! But she was a good friend, and I stayed supportive, encouraging, helpful. Gave her 9 "What a great job you are doing with your pup" for every 'tip' I gave her.
Dog did stop being possessive about their daughter and the girl's room (I told her straight blank that this was huge trouble if it was allowed), and at 3 years old, the dog is turning out to be a nice family pet. My friend is very proud of herself because when the dog takes something, she just tells him to drop it and he does, well done, I thought!
Well, saw this in action for the first time last night at her house: Dog grabbed something (a shirt), went to his bed with it. She went up to the dog, took hold of the shirt, told him to let go, he did. She puts the shirt down, turns around to talk to me, dog sneaks in, grabs the shirt again, but this time, goes and wedges himself between the coffee table and the sofa, pushing his snout against the sofa, with his paws on the shirt.
She looks at me and says: this is were he guards his things. So she moves in, pulls the coffee table out, and wedges herself in between the coffee table and the dog, and bending over her dog, leans down to take a hold of the shirt while telling her dog to give - I hear a little growl coming from the floor - she waits him out and the dog gives up the shirt.
She looks at me all proud of herself: "See! No conflict!"
That's from me telling them to NOT chase the dog around the house yelling, pinning it down, and forcefully taking stuff from him (which is what they used to do; and her working with her dog to give her things when she asks was her attempting to re-create the easy, effortless interactions I have with Gryffon)
Well . . . . hmmm . . . . how do I tell her that her going after her dog and wedging herself in between the dog and the furniture and bending over him like that is extremely dominating and creating a huge amount of conflict?
Seeing what she does, and hearing what she does is completely two different things!
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015