The tough decision of re-homing a dog

This is a very difficult topic. You have two or more dogs, and they are getting into fights. When is it time to find a new home for one of them?

I recommend re-homing if the quality of life for all involved (people and dogs) is drastically affected, even after trying well-executed training exercises. It is often best to hire an in-home trainer to assess the situation to see if it can be worked through.

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Dog training bootcamps – be careful

Another potential client contacted me a while back to “fix” her dog that she dropped off at a “boot camp” for two weeks.

I have heard this scenario many times over the years. Her dog was aggressive and a trainer told her  that “she needed to show it who is boss” and she believed him. She dropped her dog off in the care of this “dog trainer” that assured her that her problems would be solved when she picked her dog up.

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Why did your dog do that? I don't know.

The other day a client asked me why her 1.5-year-old dog urinates on her living room rug about once a month.

My answer? I don’t know.

Just because I am a professional dog trainer doesn’t mean that I know why dogs always perform certain behaviors.

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Should I get a second dog?

Bringing a second dog into the home often sounds like a good idea, but it can also cause problems in certain situations. Here are common reasons for getting a second dog and my thoughts on why it might or might not be a good idea.
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Your dog barks out of the window? That could lead to aggression.

Barrier Frustration can occur if a dog is behind a window, fence, or on leash and is not allowed to interact with the environment. After a while, she may get frustrated and aggressive. One indicator of Barrier Frustration having a part in aggression is if a dog barks behind barriers and is calm around dogs when off-leash, but is very aggressive behind a barrier or on-leash. Dogs, of course, can also show aggression no matter how much they are being contained as well.

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To Sit or Not to Sit - Helping a dog with dog-dog aggression

I work with dog-dog aggression a lot. I get lots of practice in the congested city of Chicago, and I use techniques that work. As with any training topic, there are many competing strategies out there, but I urge you to think about the psychology of anxiety and aggression.

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