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!
What to do instead? Teach them compliance via their drive. Give them an outlet to express their drive in a constructive manner. Satisfy their drive through tug. Give them exercise, and let them use their drive to overcome the "right" kind of resistance. Teach them place. Teach them down/settle. Ignore annoying behaviors that aren't dangerous. Keep things calm indoors by reducing unnecessary stimulation. Play with them outdoors only.
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.
Now, in the very beginning, you may need to use management in order to fully prevent the dog from practicing unwanted behaviors. Crating, gating, and tethering are the best ways to do this. If you need further help navigating this topic, please contact us.