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"One of my dog is perfect! I just need to train the other dog!"

I have heard from many owners with more than one dog who told me one of their dogs is "perfect" and it was always the other dog who was the "trouble maker." Interestingly, when I had the opportunity to observe this "perfect" dog, there were often other issues brewing underneath the obvious - some of which were quite serious - that the owners were unfortunately not aware of.

Aggression and reactivity are just symptoms. When our dogs have some concerns that we are not aware of, and we leave them alone because we think everything is just perfect, we can end up with aggression that we may think "just suddenly happens out of nowhere." For example, a dog who keeps pushing to “play” when another dog is not reciprocating at all is often being interrupted by human as a “friendly dog who just loves to play," but to the dog who has clearly displayed body languages saying he wants to be left alone, such a “friendly” dog is a rude and annoying dog who cannot get the message that no means no and shows no respect to personal boundary. There is nothing perfect about that. If you have more than one dog at home, and one of your dogs is such a “friendly” dog, it can create lots of problems for your other dog that you may not realize. This “friendly” dog may appear “perfect” to you while your other reactive or aggressive dog is the “problem." You may keep working on this “problematic dog," without realizing the “friendly” dog is actually a big part of the problem as well. When you have more than one dog, and one of your dogs is struggling, you need to look at how well you have control of your pack at home. If you cannot even keep the obnoxious dog away from your reactive/aggressive dog inside of your home, how can this reactive/aggressive dog believe you can keep other obnoxious dogs from threatening him outside of your home? If you have one dog you think is “perfect” - because he is not aggressive or reactive - and another one who is struggling with reactivity or aggression; instead of just focusing on the “imperfect" dog, please really take some time to work on your other “perfect” dog. The reality is you actually don’t have a perfect dog and a reactive/aggressive dog; as matter of fact, you have two dogs who both need help. The reactivity/aggression of your "imperfect" dog is caused by the pushiness of your "perfect" dog along with your indifference to the dynamic in the pack.

If this situation is left unchecked, we will often see fights taking place between the two dogs. The ironic part is that the dog who is being "blamed" is not always the actual instigator of the problem. It saddens me when l see dog owners who cannot see the real problems they have at home and end up with dogs who have to separated all the time. I hope this article can help you to acknowledge the actual underlying issues you have that you may not have realized, so you can work on resolving the issues successfully. Thank you. 

Puppy Training

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