Beating a Dead Zebra – Part 4

Next on our list:  Modeling.  Modeling is seen in humans when children live through abuse.  The often grow up to be abusers.  Thank goodness our dogs are so often capable of living through horrendous torture and still coming out the other side without any apparent signs.  But as a general rule, violence in a relationship begets more violence.

Even without modeling, increased aggression can take place.  According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior:

Animals in which the punishment does not immediately suppress the behavior may escalate in their efforts to avoid the punishment to the point where they become aggressive. Those
who already show aggressive behavior may exhibit more intense and injurious aggressive behaviors.

What we humans fail to realize is that, when a dog feels threatened it only has a few options.  The first choice is usually to run, but if that doesn’t work they give us a warning growl.  If that doesn’t work, they raise the lip, lunge, and ultimately bite.  Our use of punishment can cause our dog to feel as if they must defend themselves.  Please don’t put your dog in that position.

About Dawn Gardner, CPDT-KA

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), an administrator of the Modern Dog Group, and a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG). I am also a freelance writer for dog related publications. I have been training dogs since 1997, promoting force-free, science based training methods, instructing group classes and providing private in-home dog training. I have worked extensively with dogs with behavioral issues, including those suffering from anxiety, aggression and other stress related disorders. I have dedicates much of my free time to rehabilitating and re-homing shelter dogs with a variety of rescue organizations. As part of my passion for advocating science based dog training methods, I have had the privilege to lecture at Virginia Tech’s School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2014 I returned to Arkansas after 12 years in rural North Carolina, where Happy Hound Pet Services began in 2007. I live in Rudy, Arkansas, with my nine dogs and occasional foster dogs.
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