Myths About Your Dogs’ Behavior

1. My dog is aggressive/fearful because he was abused as a puppy.

While it’s true that some dogs are born with a predisposition to shyness , by far the most common cause of fearful or aggressive behavior in dogs is a lack of early socialization.  No matter what the cause is, always talk to your vet about any concerns. These dogs can be helped.

2.  Medication is the answer!

Medications can help in the treatment of a behavior problem when used in conjunction with behavior and environmental modification. You have to be willing to work with your dog.

3.  Dogs that are aggressive are acting dominant.

Most dogs with aggression problems are anxious or fearful. It’s important to include your vet and a qualified animal behaviorist in determining the best method for correcting this scary behavior.

4.  He knows he did something wrong because he exhibits submissive behaviors.

What he knows is your body language.  He can tell you’re angry by your behavior. However your dog is incapable of associating your anger with whatever infarction he committed hours, or even minutes before.  Don’t be angry with him. Work with him.

5.  Dogs need punishment to learn proper behavior.

It is far easier and much more effective to reward your dog for behaviors you want than to punish him for unwanted behaviors. Punishment should never be used as the first or only method of correction. Punishment can potentially create more problems, especially if applied incorrectly or used on a dog who is already fearful. Again, talk to your vet, or behaviorist.027