How do you catch people biting back

"My dog ​​doesn't even look at me, such an ignorant guy !!!"

Direct eye contact is threatening to dogs! Avoiding your eyes, on the other hand, is a polite and soothing gesture. Sometimes a dog is overwhelmed in a training situation, his person reacts impatiently and angry, then the dog tries to calm his people down by means of appeasement signals, averts his gaze and the person then reacts even more angrily. A regrettable but very common misunderstanding has arisen.

"A dog has to hear !!!"

Dogs always show behavior that is worthwhile or that has pleasant consequences for them. Dogs obey commands because it was positive for them. There are only three reasons dogs don't obey commands:
1. You did not hear it acoustically
2. You do not know what is meant by this, i.e. you are not sufficiently trained
3. You have better things to do at the moment, i.e. you are not sufficiently motivated

"If a dog does not obey, it questions its boss and has to be reminded of its place in the hierarchy, preferably by shaking the neck and throwing it on its back!"

Obedience has nothing to do with hierarchy (see above) and neither does shaking the neck fur. No mother dog or wolf has ever shaken one of her puppies in the neck for educational reasons. But one wolf or dog has already switched off another permanently in a serious fight. Serious fights only rarely occur, e.g. when two equally strong males compete for a female who is ready to mate. If a person shakes his dog in the neck, then the dog takes this as a death threat. With two different consequences: the dog surrenders to its fate ... or not. In the latter case, this always has unpleasant to life-threatening consequences for the shaker (depending on the size of the dog)!

“Help, my puppy is aggressive. He bites me and my children bloody !! "

Every puppy is born without bite inhibition! As soon as he opens his eyes, he bites into everything he catches, mother, siblings ... and the latter above all bite back. This is a painful but powerful way for a puppy to learn that biting into it hurts.

If the dog moves into a new household, this learning process should be continued in a well-run puppy play group until the dog has learned a safe bite resistance. If you or your children are still the victim of your puppy's unbridled bite, you don't have to bite back, although that would work too. In this case, you will likely need the help of an experienced dog trainer who can explain the correct behaviors to you.

"You should always take the bowl away from the dog while eating so that the dog learns who is the boss !!!"

A pack leader is a confident and relaxed fellow, but he controls the food resource (like all other resources). First he eats his fill and then it's the turn of the others. Peers may then argue about food. But the boss doesn't even go to this level. Removing the bowl is therefore generally not recommended and can be very dangerous, especially for children. It is much better to fill the dog with only half a portion in the bowl, and then to give a few chunks of food "in addition" or to have the children give it again and again while eating. In any case, the dog experiences the presence of the pack members when eating as positive.

"Under no circumstances should my dog ​​growl at my child !!!!"

Children, regardless of their age, should NEVER experience a dog, and especially a puppy, as a pain in the ass. Parents MUST take care of this. Toddlers and dogs speak radically different languages. For children, a soft fur is a very special tactile experience. However, a dog finds a passionate and loving hug extremely uncomfortable. He will always respond with reassurance signals (averting his eyes, yawning, licking his nose or blinking). As silent and subtle as these signals are, they are usually overlooked by parents in the hectic pace of everyday life. Children don't recognize them anyway. Even escape does not help the harassed dog, he is usually followed consistently. Only a growl is heard acoustically and immediately punished by the frightened parents.

Every living being, even a harried dog, always learns according to the principle of success and failure:
The appeasement signals were unsuccessful, the escape in vain, the baring teeth and growling as well, all that remains is the use of the teeth! If a child is bitten, it immediately lets go of the dog and finally the dog has the desired success. The really fatal thing about this whole situation is that all those involved always carry out logical, consistent actions, in their respective situation they could not "otherwise" !!

In summary, one can say: If the children are too young to recognize signals from a dog, the parents must practice recognizing the reassurance signals and “rescue” the dog from the distressing situations. The dog then learns that his appeasement signals were successful and does not try any other concepts to keep threats, i.e. children, at a distance. If constant monitoring of the child and dog is not possible, which is actually the normal case, it is advisable to create a place of retreat that cannot be reached by the child, e.g. a playpen that the dog can jump over but the child cannot.

"If a dog always gets treats during training, then he is always looking for something to eat outside!"

Like any other living being, a dog only shows behavior that is worthwhile. If he gets a treat for an executed command, he will show this behavior more often and better. This also applies when a dog is being trained outdoors. If a dog walks past a leg of lamb, he will take it to heart. It would be downright stupid and nonsensical to waste such a resource! Or would you walk past scattered 100 euro bills without picking them up?

"First the dog wagged its tail and then it bit!"

Tail wagging can have many different meanings. For example, it can express a basic willingness to act (“I'll do something!”), But it can also be a reassurance signal. In order to distinguish this one has to look at the other body language signals.

Important NOTE

Our dog school will be open again from March 15th, 2021.

However, we ask you to take some precautionary measures in the current situation in order to protect you and us as well as possible and to minimize the risk of the virus spreading.

The following rules of conduct therefore apply to pet owners in our dog school:

  • Only 1 healthy adult is allowed to accompany the dog.
  • Please keep a distance of approx. 2m from the other dog owners and our animal trainers.
  • Please wear an FFP2 mask on the premises of our dog school.

Thank you for your understanding
Your Veronika Kaplan and your Tamara Roßberg

Stay healthy!

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