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Why puppy classes are not enough

Puppy classes are not enough

The phone rings and I answer it. After a few minutes the story starts to pan out the same way as so many others I hear. It goes something like this…

“Our puppy was so well socialised, she went to pre-puppy class, then puppy class, then basic obedience, then advanced dog training and now she does agility. At about 1 year old she started showing signs of aggression towards other dogs who come close to us on the walk and now she barks aggressively as soon as she sees them”.

The part that is so often the same is that the puppy is well loved, cared for, was socialised when young, graduated top of the puppy class and always loved other dogs. Then usually over a period of time they have slowly become more growly, towards other dogs.

So what’s happened?

Why does a dog that is socialised as a puppy become aggressive towards other dogs and what can you do to stop it?

Dogs can growl at other dogs for any number of reasons. We could call it fear-aggression or dominance. It could be over their food, they could be protecting you or your property, the list is endless. But in many ways it’s similar to children. They too can argue and become confrontational over so many things. However regardless of what the issue is, as a parent you are able to step in and show them calmly how to behave.

The important point here is that the more your children trust and respect you the easier it is to put a stop to their old behavior and replace it with a new one. With dogs it is no different in that you as the pack leader need to step in and show them how to behave. You need to put an end to the growling and replace it with calm energy and a new behavior. Now, here is the important part that many people miss… The more your dogs trust and respect you and your decisions, the easier it is to train them.

Puppy class training is not enough

The problem that so many dog owners and parents have

When children or dogs do not respect you or your decisions then the chances are they will take little notice of you. The reason so many dogs run into trouble growling at other dogs is that they believe they are the pack leaders and so they make all the decisions. What you think comes a very distant second in their mind.

You see, dogs are pack animals by nature, and yours will instantly assume it’s the pack leader in your home, unless challenged and convinced that they’re not.

Just like children (when young), our dogs need us to be in charge. This helps them to make good decisions about what is acceptable behavior and showing them how to behave. It also takes the stress away from youngsters as they don’t have to make any important decisions any more.

Puppy classes are about running around socialising at an early age and they’re a fantastic way of learning to enjoy other dogs’ company, but it’s not enough to ensure that your dog stays the social animal that we all want them to be. You must become the dog’s DECISION MAKER, the Leader of the Pack, and show them the way.

Learn the 5 Golden Rules

Simply by becoming the Pack Leader and implementing the 5 Golden Rules, your dog will immediately recognise you are now the leader. They will leave the protection of the den to you, stop trying to overly protect you on the walk, and without all the pressure of thinking they’re in charge, your dog will calm down considerably.

Becoming the pack leader is the clearest way to keep your dog safe as they grow up. Puppy classes are a good start but being the pack leader is the long term secret to a happy, social dog. That way you can continue to stop unwanted behaviors and show them the correct way to behave.

For a complete solution to getting your puppy to calm down and listen to you when it matters most, check out my Puppy Coach training program.

If you would like a fresh calm approach to raising children and training dogs, then check out my book “What The Dogs Taught Me About Being A Parent” I think that you will find it a fascinating read 🙂 Read more about my book here.

.I strongly encourage every dog owner, all over the world, to learn the Five Golden Rules.

All the best,

Doggy Dan Signature .

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

2 Responses

  1. I completely agree! So many people don’t realize that dog training is a lifelong process. You can’t teach a dog to sit and then never practice it for a year and still expect your dog to know it. You have to maintain and practice behaviors your dog learns. Just like you shouldn’t stop socializing after your puppy turns 16 weeks, you should keep socializing its entire life! My rescue, Buddy, I adopted when he was 1 year old. I didn’t just take him to a class, I also worked on training at home and I’m still building off of previously learned behaviors even after 2 years of having him. Even if your dog learns all the basics, it still is great fun to teach them tricks and they will love the attention and the chance to learn something new!

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“Dan’s videos are just terrific. He doesn’t skimp on the videos and you really get your money’s worth. He grounds his training in dogs’ intrinsic traits, which really makes sense. I’m so pleased and would purchase the trading all over.”

Dexter C.

“I am amazed at how quickly I saw results. Cannot recommend this enough! Brilliant!”

Robert T.

"You have explained why we're having problems with our terrier and given us the tools to help him. For the first time in nearly a year we don't feel so anxious and have confidence that things will get better."

Alison M.

"All of the training in the complete pack fits together like a puzzle. Each video is valuable in learning how to read dogs and respond appropriately. So easy to use and fun to watch Dan interpret situations. All of the training has worked with my 3-month-old pup and I'm SO grateful! Thank you Dan and team!"

Sara M.

"I really like learning how to be calm & effective with training. I also appreciate the encouragement I receive to be the pack leader that my dog wants and needs."

Brenda T.

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