Dog Aggression and Behavioural Problems with Kinks the Patterdale Terrier.
Kinks is a 3 year old male Patterdale Terrier who for the past 3 years has lived a life of royalty and has been allowed to do whatever he likes at home. Kinks is allowed to climb on furniture, he lives in the bedrooms and continuously dictates when he wants attention. Unfortunately, this has started to become an issue for his owners, as Kinks has started to show signs of dominance in his behaviour. He has shown aggression towards a child and other dogs which has become a problem for his owners, Rachel and her partner, who have recently spoken about the possibility of having a child of their own. They contacted me for some advice on how to solve the problem before it escalates and to ensure that it is rectified as soon as possible. During tonights initial assessment, it was clear that Kinks is a very well loved, pampered pooch. This is a common problem that I encounter with clients who don’t understand the importance of a pack structure. Whilst it is important to love our dogs, it is also important to ensure that the dog is given boundaries, limitations and discipline as this provides the dog with a clear understanding of its position within the pack and the family home.
All my dogs understand their position within the home and the pack and consider only myself as the pack leader. They are therefore all happy to work together as a team and never need to fight one another for dominance, food or possession. Whilst I love all my dogs, the love that they receive is given at the right times, in the right places and in the right quantity. The love given to Kinks is a conditional love that has allowed the dog to become the leader whilst the owners become the followers. By allowing this to happen, Kinks now sees himself in the highest position possible, escalating his dominance towards guests and visitors to the home.
At training tonight, we worked on different skills including focus work, lead work, recall and attentiveness. As Kinks lacks discipline and training in all areas, when allowed of the lead he will run off and do his own thing. As with other disciplines, his recall skills are non existent which can make walking Kinks an un-pleasurable experience for his owners. At training tonight, I demonstrated with Kinks, how is owners could train with him to walk to heel and on the lead without pulling, jumping around and becoming snappy. As Kinks has never been told what to do, he decided to become aggressive with myself and attack the legs of my trousers. Rachel and her partner were shocked by Kinks personality and were distressed by what they had witnessed. Even though they were aware of the recent incident towards a child, they considered that nothing more than a small nip. Tonight showed that this small nip could result in an aggressive bite. We will now be working closely in classes and at 1-2-1 lessons to ensure that this problem is rectified and the correct training methods are put into place to make sure that this does not happen again.
I am pleased that Rachel and her partner are both keen to work on the problems that Kinks has developed and I am looking forward to finding positive ways of moving forward and assisting with resolving these problems. Whilst I do understand that it is difficult for some handlers to stop habits like, carrying the dog around or having it on their knees at any given chance, these changes are crucial if they want to change the behavioural problems that have developed. Everyone wants a good bond and a happy relationship with their dogs and therefore need to remember that this is not created by over loving our dogs. We need to remember that they are dogs and they understand pack structure.
If you have problems with your dogs behaviour, training problems or aggression then please call for a friendly chat on how we can work together to solve these problems in a positive manner, through positive training methods creating happy owners and dogs.