I received a call from a woman who said that her family dog had many behavioral issues. If they weren’t addressed soon, she would have to get rid of her dog. The issues included jumping on people (especially young children), being a menace when visitors came to the front door, barking at almost anything, and sometimes even growling at her and her friends. On walks, her dog would sometimes lunge at other dogs and nearly pull her over. She was clearly distressed and hoped these problems could be remedied.
I let her know that these seemingly severe issues could be tackled, much to her relief. She said that she would check with her husband and call back to set a date for training. When I hadn’t heard from her for several days, I called her and heard a story I have heard over and over again. She had checked with her husband, who said, “There’s no need to train the dog. I don’t have any problems with her.” Unfortunately, the dog never received any training, and within a month she was sent to the SPCA.
Unfortunately I hear this story so often I can almost predict the outcome. Approximately 85% of the calls I receive for help are from women – and too often dogs from these families are not trained because of a decision on the part of one owner.
It is true that dogs tend to listen more to men than woman due to a man’s often greater height and his lower, deeper voice. In the canine world, dogs use their height and low voice tones, to gain control. These attributes can also be used by people to gain control with their dogs.
In addition, women in general tend to be more nurturing than men, which typically cause dogs to take advantage of them and to treat the woman as one of the pack instead of the leader. As a result, women can be at a disadvantage when trying to control a dog’s behavior. However, this doesn’t mean women can’t learn how to control their dog’s behaviors and teach their dog to have the correct behaviors.
In this case, the husband may have been right when he said that he didn’t have issues with the dog. But the remedy for an overall better behaved dog is the ultimately the responsibility of both owners. Teaching both owners the proper way to communicate and educate their dog will allow owners, male or female, to have a better behaved dog.
When everyone understands and realizes it is a team effort to communicate and educate their canine family member, they are more open to spending the few dollars required to bring peace and joy into the family. In only hours of training, women and men can understand the simple techniques needed to control their dog’s behavior – for a lifetime.
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery County, northern Chester County and eastern Berks County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
© Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved