Aggression in Dogs: In Depth Conversation with Mike Shikashio


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Aggression is an increasingly common issue with dogs. Listen HERE to Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN Radio to an in depth discussion on aggression in dogs with world renown expert Mike Shikashio, dog trainer and certified dog behavior consultant.

He begins by explaining why dogs may demonstrate aggression in the first place. It often has to do with a feeling of being unsafe or fear or just not knowing what to because of a lack of socialization. It’s a natural coping mechanism. And he answers how often genetics plays a role?

Discussion on common but not all too effective ways to deal with aggression, from trainers supporting that use of shock collars or throwing rolled up towels at dogs. Shikashio explains how these techniques can temporarily impact behavior but doesn’t at all deal with the cause of that aggression, so ultimately the aggression will come right back. Besides, we don’t need to hurt dogs to help them.

Even discussed is how some animal shelters – mostly no-kill facilities – in an effort to impress donors and the public and meet numbers of dogs adopted and save will hire dog trainers to deal with aggressive dogs. Those trainers are under a time constraint to “fix” dogs and use aversive or punishment-based methods. While the aggression is temporarily suppressed, ultimately, this practice makes matters worse for the individual dogs and also for the community.

Shikashio talks about how to help aggression in dogs which all has to do with figuring what the cause is. And because a dog is aggressive to another dog it’s likely that the dog is not going to also be aggressive to people.

Can all dogs be saved? Realistically, are there some dogs which simply can’t be helped?

Shikashio will offer an intensive workshop at For Your K9, June 22-23, 706 Industrial Drive, Elmhurst, IL.