Not every dog is an ideal candidate for our Full Service board and train programs. Dogs that have aggression issues can often benefit from our program, but sometimes it just isn’t in the best interest of the dog. Here are a few reasons why we do not accept every aggression case that we hear about.
Newly adopted dogs or dogs that have been recently re-homed.
We get a lot of calls from people who have just adopted or rescued a dog that has started
displaying aggression. It is actually quite common that these behaviors start to surface once
the dog has become “comfortable” in their new environments. In some cases, the owner is
even aware of the dog’s aggressive past before they obtain the dog.
These dogs are not a good fit to be sent off again to re adapt to another environment. To set
these dogs up for success obedience, leadership and a relationship needs to be built during
training with the new owner. It is not enough to show the owner the obedience commands
learned while away at training because in my experience the respect earned during the training
doesn’t always transfer back to the owner. In the majority of aggression cases, management is
the key. Learning how to handle your aggressive dog is part of the responsibility you committed
to when adopting a dog with a known aggression history. If you were not aware of the aggression, it is critical for you to reach back out to where you got the dog from so the dog can be re-evaluated to ensure it is safe for the community.
Dogs that are displaying territorial aggression in their home environments or when their home
dynamic has changed.
When dogs are sent for the Full Service Training, we take pride in generalizing the training all
around town, but this does not always transfer back to the dog’s home environment when
aggression is involved. It is best for you to focus on their home environment first (examples are getting a new dog, family member added such as a new baby, moving into a new place where there is an existing dog or new person in the dog’s life.)
Dangerous situations that need immediate intervention.
In some cases, the situation is just too urgent. In that case, aggression needs to be handled in the dog’s environment ASAP for the safety of other dogs or members of your family. The Full Service Training Program is a process that can sometimes take a minimum of 6-8 weeks before your dog can begin their
training date. Even the initial meet/greet sometimes can take up to 2 weeks to get scheduled. We wish that we could take everyone on sooner, but we only accept a small number of dogs at a time to ensure that the quality of the training is there.
Unrealistic expectations of the breed of dog you own.
Obedience training comes secondary to being a responsible pet owner and truly understanding the
breed of your dog. Training obedience creates the common language to communicate to your dog what behaviors you like and what behaviors you want them to change, but it will not make your dog into something they are not. Obedience is not magic. Genetics play a huge role in realistic expectations of your dog. I do believe that both people aggressive and dog aggressive dogs can be obedient and managed according to the environment around them but I strongly disagree that all dogs can live with other dogs or can safely interact with strangers.
Accepting your dog for who they are genetically will set them up for success with in your training
goals. A big portion of this type of training comes from you training your dog and building the
correct management skills, not sending the dog away with the expectation of a “new dog” coming
home. The only “new” thing that returns after the Full Service Training is realistic expectations of
how you should handle your dog in different scenarios, as well as a much happier dog that can relax
knowing their owner finally understands them.