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Don't Fight with Your Dog

Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

Dogs with Drive Love the "Fight"

If you find yourself "fighting" with your dog, then you are most likely adding energy to the problem. Dog's with a high drive actually enjoy this "fight." And what I mean by fighting is any sort of conflict where you feel you need to: raise your voice, point and shame, use physical force, pry open their mouth, push them away/down. Remember, dogs LOVE overcoming resistance, so any time you provide resistance, your dog is learning a fun new game!

The Alternative

What to do instead? Teach them compliance via their drive. Teach them place. Teach them down/settle. Satisfy their drive through tug. Help them make contact. Ignore annoying behaviors that aren't dangerous. Keep things calm indoors, reduce unnecessary stimulation. Teach collection outdoors. Play with them outdoors only. Give them exercise. Let them use their drive to overcome the "right" kind of resistance. 

Setting Boundaries

It is okay to say no to your dog and place strong boundaries after you've created a foundation of trust and bonding. After you've shown them where to put their energy, what to bite, how to collect themselves and have impulse control, you can absolutely tell a dog "no" without damaging their psyche. Just don't add stimulation when setting a boundary. Be neutral, be clear, be fair. 

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