• Richard Chan

One of my dogs is perfect

Many people think if a dog is not aggressive or reactive then he has no problem, he is “perfect”. Aggression and reactivity are just symptoms, they are not the real problems. 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 that he wants to be left alone, such a “friendly” dog is a rude and annoying dog who cannot get the message (no means no) — he is an obnoxious dog who shows no respect to personal boundary. If you have more than one dog at home, and one of your dogs is such a “friendly” dog, it can creat lots of problems that you may not realize. This “friendly” dog may appear “perfect” to you while your other reactive or even 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. 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 that you can keep other obnoxious dogs from threatening him outside of your home? How can he trust you? Being “friendly” is not the same as being “perfect”, it can be a serious problem and it can cause lots of issues in the pack. If you have one dog you think is “perfect” (because he is not aggressive or reactive) and another one who is struggling with reactivity, aggression, and what not which you think is related to anxiety; instead of just focusing on the “anxious” dog, please really take some time to work on your other “perfect” dog. You need to acknowledge the reality. You don’t have a perfect dog and an anxious dog, you have two dogs who both need help. The “anxiety” of your one dog is caused by the pushiness of your other dog along with your indifference to the dynamic in the pack. You cannot supervise your own pack successfully, you cannot read and respond to the dog who keeps asking for help, you do not have control of the rude dog. That is why your relationship with your pack is not where it should be — your dogs do not trust nor respect you, so the “anxious” dog does not feel safe around you and the “over friendly” dog does not look up to you for direction or permission. It saddens me when l see dog owners who cannot see the real problems they have at home. It is really hard to help them when they think a dog is “perfect” when it is anything but in real. I hope this article can help you to acknowledge the actual underlying issues you have that you may never realize, so you can work on resolving the issues successfully. Thank you. 

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