How owners inadvertently create aggressive puppies.
In a world inundated with certain TV famous trainers and the alpha roll/dominance theory still plaguing our lives, it is no wonder the number of aggressive dogs has sky rocketed.
People bring home their new puppy They are so excited and happy and in love. They read the book, the watched the show. They know what they need to do to make sure they are a responsible pet parents and they are excellent students.
But puppies do puppy things. They chew your shoes, find your socks to play with, and have accidents on the area rug. The ever so diligent student and owner grabs the scruff of their puppies neck and flips them onto their side and effectively "Alpha Rolls" their dog while sternly telling it NO. Their dog cowers giving "submissive" body language and that's exactly what the owner has been taught is the right response. They are the "Alpha" over their dog. They are the boss and their dog now understands it. This continues for every regression as the dog grows. As the dog gets bigger the owner uses more weight to roll them and essentially bullies their dog into "submission". That is until their dogs brain transitions into an adult brain and the dog decides to say NO. The owner rolls their dog for misbehaving and their dog growls back. The owner is shocked and offended by their dogs actions to try to "dominate" them by growling. They yell and roll and perhaps even smack at their dog. proving they are dominant over their dog.
Now many of you may be reading this and thinking, Yes, that is what should be done. But Fear causes aggression. Even though the very scientists who studied wolves and came up with the Dominance Theory (including David Mech) openly stated their findings proved their hypothesis wrong. Even though The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and countless other Professional Animal Behavior Experts have proven this to not be correct time and time again. It really took 1 book and 1 Tv series to give false information to billions of people globally. To "Dominate" your dog you have to instill fear. Not respect. Fear causes a dog to feel threatened and growl, bark, lunge, and bite.
Many owners will continue down the path with a trainer who believes in these outdated methods and either get rid of their dog because there is something wrong with it, or they will turn off all normal and natural warning signs and end up with a dog who bites "unprovoked". Training is such an unregulated industry that anyone can say they are a trainer but may not have an actual clue about animal behavior or canine learning theory.
There are so many other useful and humane methods to stopping behavior issues that never require fear intimidation pain or bullying. The number of dogs I work with due to biting and fear behaviors is astronomical. It is amazing what a good advertising and a man in the television can do when owners think this is a true animal professional.
Make sure you do your research and do not buy into the gimmicks of "dominance". In truth your dog wants to be a part of your family to love, trust, and protect you. But they do not want to stage a coux and dethrone you as the leader of your home.
Certified Dog Trainer, Certified Behavior Consultant, Mother of an Amazing Autistic Child, and to several Wonderful Dogs, Horses, and a Cat named Einstein.