• Dog Lunges

My Dog decided that he is MY dog only….is that ok?

Hi Angie, someone told me that you are a miracle worker; I’m not sure we need a miracle but we need help! We rescued our 5 year-old beagle in November. She is a great dog in that she doesn’t jump on people, doesn’t beg, or bark incessantly. She does however, lunge at people as if she is going to bite, but she doesn’t bite. At first she really had a problem with my husband. For some reason she has decided she is my dog and is very protective of me. She will lunge at my 12 year old daughter and son, sometimes with warning, but sometimes without. We love her and want to keep her, but it is very scary. She has done this to neighbors and friends of my children. I would never forgive myself if she ever bit anyone. Right now, she just looks like she is biting, but clearly seems to know that she isn’t. She will sometimes tug on their clothes. We welcome your advice!

Thanks,
Julie

Answer:

Hi Julie ~ Thanks for the nice words about my work with dogs! Yes, I have seen many situations like this and yes I know it can be improved. First, let me mention that in Buster’s mind he is disciplining humans which can’t be allowed for many reasons. It’s good that he hasn’t really “put teeth into it” yet, but this behavior usually does progress if not addressed. I challenge you to step back and take a look at your relationship with Buster. Dogs don’t view themselves as belonging to you, as much as claiming you. He is picking up from you that you are HIS and he is simply protecting his property. This is why he had a problem with your husband and then your children and will have a problem with anyone else that wants to approach you. The best way to get rid of all that unwanted behavior is for YOU to disagree (give him guidance by saying “hey” or “no” and pointing a finger at him or backing him up from wherever he is.) You can can see this technique between human and dog on my “3 Dog Days” video. What’s important is once you decide you really don’t want him to have that behavior and you really disagree with it……he will stop. He is getting his power from you. Dogs deciding who they are nice to and who they aren’t is bad news. That means there is no parent in his eyes. That is why he feels he can lunge or “correct” kids or other people. You must show him you don’t want that. Guidance coming from you is more powerful and has more impact on him because of your close relationship with him. I correct for any teeth on humans, any aggression toward humans/other dogs or for tugging on people’s clothing. If he is tugging the kids clothing as they are moving around then he most definitely feels it’s his job to control the kids. Dogs need shown in very black and white terms what is and what is not allowed. Feeding them “grey” information is not fair to them. If the parent is wishy-washy or indecisive about what the family rules are, He really won’t truly understand he is not allowed to have that behavior. It’s your job as the parent to treat him fairly and respectfully and to make sure all dogs and kids (all members of your family) treat each other the same way. Make sense? Thanks so much for your question!

About the Author:

I’m going to expose myself to you. I’m generally a fairly private person, so this kind of mass, personal exposure causes me some discomfort. However, I’m also a very straight forward person and I don’t shy away from the truth – I’m always happy to share anything I’ve discovered with others in the hope they can also benefit. My greatest desire, my absolute passion, is to change the world for dogs; and in order to do this, I must tell you my story. My journey started, like too many others, doing my best to ride out a very dysfunctional, abusive childhood. How I survived it, how I coped, was to escape into the natural world. I spent every moment I could, observing and caring for my much-loved pets. My family and friends would later remark they rarely saw me without, a cat, dog, guinea pig, horse, goat or rat! In my teens, I became obsessed with researching and planning how I could make things better for animals and protect them from abuse. Adulthood brought a career in real estate and construction and then the gift of two fantastic sons. My focus was on raising my boys to be kind, resilient, happy young men. Through the years, though, I was rehabilitating rescue dogs one or two at a time…the more difficult the case, the more I learned. The dogs were teaching me. I was honing my techniques until I was consistently able to cure dogs and bring back a happy dog mind. Like most moms, I did push myself too hard on all fronts and stress was my constant companion – eventually leading to a decade of various health challenges. I was very busy, and out of necessity, I developed a high tolerance for pain and kept pushing myself forward. Eventually, the universe dealt me a hand that would break me and demand I sit up and take notice. The short version is I was finally diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a rare condition that delivers excruciating nerve pain in the form of “lightening strikes” in the face. I typical had around 30 strikes a day, which varied based on the number and types of incapacitating, medications prescribed to help me endure…to help me stay alive. Trigeminal neuralgia causes what is generally described as the “worst pain known to man ” and “the suicide disease.” If I tried to eat or speak, I got a strike. If I tried to brush my teeth, I got a strike. If I tried to go outside in the wind, I got a strike. I think one of the most devastating parts was not being able to cry…even crying brought a lighting bolt through my mouth. TN steals your life through extreme physical pain and starvation; and terrorizes you emotionally. After enduring it for 5 years, bedridden for the last six months, it was clear I wasn’t going to survive. The details of what happen next are extremely personal, but I was utterly aware I was living my final few days in this world. I had fought, furiously, to stay alive for my boys, but I felt the last energy from my cells slip away. I had lost my last battle. At that moment, I left most of my physical body and pierced the veil between our world and another world. I was instantaneously pain free and completely at peace; but it was not to be. How I was saved, though, is a whole other story. I will just tell you that I was not allowed to fully leave this world; while simultaneously and without my knowledge, a completely random set of circumstances and people were coming perfectly together to my rescue. By the next day, I was rushed to Pittsburgh for emergency brain surgery, preformed by gifted surgeons I had never met. I awoke from the ordeal completely cured…and with a clear directive. I was the recipient of a miracle; and I was to use this second chance to make the world a much better place for dogs. I realized I had to figure out, no matter how difficult, a way to spread this desperately needed information about the dog mind and heart everywhere! No longer was it just ok to save one dog at a time or help one family at a time. I had to make videos with clear, concise, common sense techniques and information; and get them into the hands of every dog parent. I will never stop working and advocating for dogs until my second chance time here is over. Please join me on this journey and help me spread the word!

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