Mail Carrier Lessons, Anxious Pomeranians, and a Food Aggressive Swiss Mountain Dog
Season 3 | Episode 4 | Woody & Wally, and Kane
Cesar shows mail carriers in Roswell, Georgia, how to deal with close encounters of the four-legged kind. Next, Cesar meets a pair of Pomeranians that flip out when left alone and a Swiss mountain dog that turns vicious at feeding time.
The two strongest primal drives in animals come from mating and food, and many dogs will often turn territorial or dominant with both. In this segment, we’re focusing on food aggression. This has nothing to do with the breed, but more with their primitive selves and survival instincts. For example, puppies learn to protect their food from their littermates.
With our pets, you’ll find that some dogs naturally submit to you when you remove their food; others naturally protect it, which can create a dangerous situation. You have to learn how to block them from practicing this behavior. This goes for you or any other family member or pet. Tune in to find out how I helped this family deal with this problem. The one thing they know now is that feeding time is a great time to assert a calm-assertive leadership role with your dog.
Please Don’t Go!
In the wild, dogs don’t often separate from each other. They sleep, eat, travel, play, and find comfort with their pack. It’s a very different way of life for our dogs. And when I see a case of canine separation anxiety, I find that the dogs aren’t mentally or physically ready to be left behind when their owners leave the house.
The good news is that you can condition your dog to deal with your absence. The best way to do this is by leaving him tired before you go. By developing a routine of morning walks or runs of at least 30 minutes, you’ll deplete your dog’s anxious energy and his body will instinctively settle into a resting mode.
Remember, don’t feel guilty for leaving your dog behind. You could actually diminish the effectiveness of your walk by projecting a weak or sorry energy, and he could end up anxious all over again! Leave your home without fanfare, so your dog will not be in an excited state without a way to cope with his unexpressed energy.
Protecting Yourself From a Charging Dog
I’m often asked, “How do I protect myself from a strange dog that starts acting aggressive or charges towards me?” For most people, this is a very scary scenario, but there are tools you can use to try to diffuse the situation.
If this happens to you, stand still, remain calm and assertive, and do not make eye contact. Remember, when we are clear and focused, animals will mirror our energy. In other words, if I move, so will the dog. If I stop, so will she. Relax, and don’t move until the dog walks away.
You can also use physical tools to guard yourself against a potential dog attack. Try carrying a walking stick, tennis racket, or umbrella. These should NOT be used to hit the dog, but props you can use to claim your space!
Again, if the dog is coming towards you, stop where you are, stay calm and assertive, do not make eye contact, and have your prop in front of you. When the dog realizes you mean no harm, she will back off and you can move forward.