The "Why" Doesn't Matter
Maybe it's because they came from a shelter? I wonder if there was an encounter with our dog walker that they never told us about?
Did I do something wrong?
One of the most common questions we receive is:
"Why does my dog have [insert XYZ behavioral issue here]?"
Let me be the first to say that, while dog trainers like to say they know everything, this is one of those areas that we can confidently say that no one really knows why a dog develops a particular behavior. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if your dog is attacked by another dog, then you can make assumptions that they developed reactivity towards other dogs because of this experience.
The fact of the matter is that it doesn't really matter all that much why your dog is scared of children or why they don't like the dog that lives in 3C down the hallway. And that's because the "why" isn't going to help you progress your dog through their insecurities or bad behaviors.
We're big advocates on prioritizing where one places their energy on a daily basis and the more energy you can place on understanding the training methods that will help your dog, the quicker your dog will be on their way to becoming their best self.
So, if your dog was attacked or if you know that they had a bad encounter when they were a puppy, this is not to say that this information isn't useful context but it doesn't really change how we will train them all that much. The behaviors your dog exhibits are all of the information that we need to know to be able to outline a plan that will be best suited for them and you.
We've seen it all. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you're absolutely stumped or lost with what you can do to help your loved one.