Yeah, so you think I’m losing it by getting into the minds of my 2 dogs Simon and Alvin. Maybe, but I’m all for preventing dog behavior problems, or at least figuring out how to stop them as quickly as possible.
An example - although I use the picture shown above as Alvin's Evil Eye expression, it turns out he uses it whenever he's protecting something like a piece of food, a bone, or a toy. It's clearly a sign of dominance, so I'm researching how to stop the protective behavior because he can become aggressive toward a person or Simon.
I want you to know upfront – I’m not the Dog Whisperer. I consult Kingdom of Pets' Secrets to Dog Training whenever I need help. The author of this dog training “bible” publishes a newsletter available to those who have purchased the program. A recent newsletter addressed dog psychology and how to prevent dog behavior problems.
Here’s the condensed version of dog psychology from the Kingdom of Pets recent newsletter:
A Dog’s MindExplore Secrets to Dog Training by Kingdom of Pets to learn more about how to solve housebreaking, behavioral, aggression, and obedience issues. And a LOT more about dog psychology.
- No one really knows for sure what dogs are thinking.
- A dog's mind is much less complex than that of a human – they use instincts as opposed to emotion.
- It is a mistake to treat a dog as you would another human being. Example: your dog barks at another dog, so you pick him up to get him to stop barking. This reinforces the dog’s behavior by giving him attention and physically elevating his position.
Communicating with Your Dog
- Your dog needs to feel secure.
- If he is confident with you as a leader he will allow you to make decisions for the pack (you, your family members, and the dog), and will be more inclined to follow those decisions.
- If your dog understands that you are the pack leader he will obey your commands and be a lot less prone to aggression problems.
What’s Right or Wrong?
- Dogs do not actually understand English or any other language, but they can associate the sound of a word with an action or an object.
- When you are communicating with your dog, make sure first that he is aware that you are speaking to him by calling his name to get his attention.
- Dogs can also pick up on your body language so it is important to consider your body language and what message it is sending your dog.
Dogs do not have an understanding of right or wrong nor do they have the ability to be malicious. Example: If your dog chews on your furniture and you put him outside for a time out he will learn that chewing on the furniture leads to punishment by being ignored and therefore they are less likely to do it again. Note that the concept of “it’s wrong to chew the furniture is NOT learned.