Just got off the phone with a really nice man with a 7-8 year old small dog that all of the sudden has started growling and snapping at him when he picks the dog up… Now many dog trainers would go right to counter conditioning and other behavioral reasons for the behavior but we are forgetting the most obvious reasons and one of a persons biggest helpers in solving dog behavior issues… THEIR VETERINARIAN!!!!
Lets face it, we have an older dog who has never had aggression issues before and is only showing the behaviors (up to and including biting) when the owner is picking up the dog… What if the only reason for the aggression is that it hurt when or how the owner is picking him up???
Lets face it folks dogs can not speak English and have no other way to tell us what they are thinking or how they are feeling other than barking. growling, avoiding or approaching and no amount of training will change that. I do however really wish that more trainers and veterinarians worked in tandem together. Well off my soapbox…
P.S, The good news… this dog is gonna go see his Vet tomorrow and will only call me if the issue is not pain related… Remember start with your Vet and get a good medical work up first! Especially when dealing with Aggression and Potty Training issues…
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