Dealing with Dog Aggression
Canine behaviour practitioners and dog trainers have an obligation to both the dog and the client. Conflict can arise between the interests of the dog and the interests of the client. Occasionally, clients may want the behaviourists to employ inhumane methods.
Before you begin taking on clients it is essential to develop your own code of practice and have a clear sense of ethical values.
Many people are drawn to working with dogs in the capacity of trainer or behaviourist as a result of their love of dogs. However, having the knowledge and skills to train and change behaviour in dogs is only part of the job. In order to be a good dog trainer or behaviourist, it is important to also have the necessary knowledge and skills to train and coach people.
A dog behaviour practitioner has a responsibility to work with the client to identify the dog’s problem behaviour, and to explore the client’s options in respect of changing that behaviour.
The client is responsible for their decision on how to proceed with the unwanted behaviour and for carrying out a behaviour plan that has been agreed. Even though the practitioner has many professional responsibilities, it is ultimately the client who is responsible for their dog and their dog’s behaviour.
When dealing with aggression, it is essential that dog behaviour practitioners work closely with the client. If the behaviour plan is not followed, there will be little hope of changing the problem behaviour. Therefore, practitioners should work with the client to agree a behaviour plan that is workable for all parties.