Gracie on Aggression
Barbara always says “There are no aggressive dogs, only aggressive behavior.” Lots of people disagree with her, but me and my friends know she’s right!
Take me. I’m about the sweetest thing there is, and I’d rather not fight, bite or be unpleasant in any way. But sometimes I need to let others know I’m scared, or unhappy or I just want them to go away and I only have my own language to do that with (I rely heavily on translators to help me with my web content!). Nice dogs can growl, snarl, snap and bite, and we sure will when we think we need to!
So if aggressive behavior is normal (yes, it is!), then why does it cause so much trouble?
Most people think that dogs who show aggressive behavior are bad, and that’s so sad and not true. The truth is, all of us (you people, too!) can have aggressive behavior, and that’s just part of who we are. Most dogs, like people, only use their aggressive behavior when they’re afraid or trying to defend themselves, and even you folks seem to agree that self-defense is OK. Trouble is, many people don’t seem to know what situations can get us going in self-defense mode, and how to handle it.
Hollering at us for growling or barking only makes things worse; scaring us worse when we’re scared already doesn’t help! Growling is our way of telling you something is very wrong, and that’s a good thing. But sad to say, people just don’t listen to what we have to say a lot of the time.
If your dog is growling, snarling or snapping about something or other, or even if you don’t know why, Barbara can usually figure it out and help you understand the best way to get things back on track. She’s got lots of experience working with people who have dogs who:
Sometimes what you think is aggressive is really something else,
What are you waiting for?
PS. The web person was thinking about putting all kinds of pictures of dogs snarling, growling and snapping on this page, but I said “no way”. You know what it looks like, and Barbara knows how to fix it!