Story By Jeri Wagner of Bark Busters
I recently received a call from a woman who said that her family dog had many behavioral issues. If they weren’t addressed soon, Gloria said she would have to get rid of her dog, Minnie. 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, Minnie sometimes would lunge at other dogs and nearly pull Gloria over.
Gloria clearly was distressed and hoped these problems could be remedied. She was concerned, however, that they may need to return Minnie to the shelter they adopted her from and she would possibly even be destroyed as she had been returned before for these behaviors.
I let Gloria know that these seemingly severe issues could be tackled, much to the relief of Gloria. Gloria said that she would check with her husband and call me again to set a date for training. When I didn’t hear from Gloria for several days, I called her and heard a story I have heard over and over again.
Gloria had checked with her husband, who said, “There’s no need to train Minnie. I don’t have any problems with her. It’s your problem.” Minnie never received any training, and within a month she was sent back to the shelter, much to the distress of Gloria and her children.
As a Bark Buster behavioral therapist I unfortunately hear this story so often I can almost predict the outcome. Approximately 85 percent of the calls I receive for help are from women – and too often dogs from these families are not trained because of an imprudent decision on the part of one owner or spouse.
It is true that dogs can be more submissive to men than they are to women due to a man’s often greater height and his lower, deeper voice. Dogs gain dominance over each other using their height and low voice tone, such as growling, and these attributes can also be used by people to gain dominance over their dogs.
Gloria’s husband may have been right when he said that he, unlike Gloria, didn’t have issues with the dog. But the remedy is the responsibility of both owners. The husband’s approach of telling his wife that it was “her problem” and not agreeing to have the dog trained is irresponsible.
In addition, women in general tend to be more nurturing than men, which typically causes dogs to take advantage of them and to treat the woman as one of the pack instead of the leader. As a result, women have a distinct disadvantage when trying to control a dog’s behavior.
When people understand this and realize that they may not be able to gain leadership and control over the dog without understanding how to do so, then they are more open to having professional help 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 dog behavioral therapist and trainer with Bark Busters Home Dog Training, the world’s largest dog training company. Bark Busters’ natural training system can successfully train any dog, even a puppy, by leveraging the same communications methods—body language and voice control—that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. All training takes place right in the home where the problems generally occur. In every market where Bark Busters is established, a majority of veterinarians familiar with the technique recommend the company’s services. Bark Busters training is the only service of its kind that offers a written lifetime guarantee. For more information, call 1-877-500-BARK (2275) or visit www.BarkBusters.com. © Copyright 2010 Bark Busters USA All Rights Reserved