Every week we get asked about dog aggression in Southern Utah. We train 50+ dogs per week, and many of our clients were thought to be “aggressive” prior to training. “Aggression” is a word that is often misused by dog owners.
When a client informs us that their dog is aggressive we always ask how severe the aggression incidents were. Most of the time our clients say nothing serious happened, but they are worried that something bad MIGHT happen (most of the time this is a handler problem, not an aggression issue). If there IS an incident, we always ask how severe the incident was. We want to know how many dogs/people had to seek medical care after the incident occurred and how expensive the care was. This can tell us a lot about the dog!
If your dog has been in a “dog fight”, or has “attacked” another dog, I would ask:
-Did both dogs need to visit the vet after the incident?
-Was the vet bill more than $1,000?
If the answer was “no” to both questions, I would generally tell you that your dog is not aggressive.
People do not realize how easy it is for dogs to inflict damage! If a dog is truly aggressive, they would definitely cause damage. That’s the reason we ask the two questions above; if the answer is “no”, it generally means the dog was displaying restraint and/or bite inhibition (something an aggressive dog would NOT do). With that being said, it does not mean your previously thought “aggressive” dog is without issues; it means there is probably a lack of structure and leadership within the dog’s household causing the dog to react in a negative manner. I would also go further and say the dog probably lacks confidence.
If you would like to understand more about dog behavior or obedience training in Southern Utah contact Off Leash K9 Training today!