What it takes to work with Human Aggressive Dogs (and why I'm taking a break)
Updated: Aug 25
By Brianna Dick
This past year I've received an influx of seriously human aggressive dogs that I've worked with. At this time, I feel it necessary and important to address what it takes to work with this level of aggression towards humans. I am not talking about the dog who nips at people when they leave the house, or the situational bite that can typically be easily addressed, I'm talking about the level of aggression that requires a truly experienced dog behaviorist where the dogs intention is to do serious damage to a human. To be clear, these dogs are pretty rare in my experience. This level of human aggression doesn't happen often because most people either put the dog down or work with a trainer before it gets to this point. That being said, I've seen a tremendous amount of those cases in the past year.
When owners come to me, I'm a usually last resort for their human aggressive dog. They've tried other training methods or trainers and the root of the issue was never fully addressed. I am thrilled to be able to help owners with their dogs and reestablish a healthy relationship but this past year I've seen difficult levels of human aggression and so I've decided to take a break for the next few months.
Human aggressive dogs require trainers to be "on" the entire time they're working them. We do not have the luxury of having an off day. If I had an off day with one of my clients dogs, I would end up in the hospital or worse, dead. We're not just dealing with a someone's pet. We're dealing with an instinctual reactive animal that has already done damage to a human.
Human aggressive dogs are exhausting in the sense that you always have to be on your toes, prepared to block an attack or redirect the dog. Even more so, dealing with the human aggressive dog-owners is even more challenging. The relationship between dog and owner has to be seriously flawed for a dog to be acting out in aggression towards humans. And many times, it's the owner who is reluctant to change to help make their dogs feel more confident and supported.
Over the next few months I'll be taking a break and sending any clients who come to be for their human aggressive dog to trusted colleagues. My clients and their dogs deserve the very best of me and right now, I cannot give that to human aggressive dogs.
In the meantime, I suggest and HIGHLY recommend going to Ian McCabe from Dogwood Methods. He is an extremely talented trainer that deals with any serious behavioral issue, including human aggression You can contact him through his website at https://www.dogwoodmethods.com/
I really appreciate your patience in this and know that I'm taking this break to be even better for you guys.
Owner & Dog Behavior Expert