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The other day, Molly and I were working the puppies through Tractor Supply. As I got out Pitter Patter, an older woman was in the parking lot with a German Shepherd puppy. Her puppy was showing obvious aggression toward the Malinois puppy, so I moved quickly and got the pup in a routine of following presentations, putting feet on objects at different height, then jumping on and negotiating the piles of fencing materials in the outside yard. When I went to exit the store the woman was still at the entrance ( a very stressful place to have a puppy). The dog’s hackles were raised and she was acting aggressively toward everyone coming through the sliding glass door. I overheard her saying she didn’t want a “mean” dog, but she wanted the pup to be “intimidating”. She was, all unknowing, training her dog to be unsociable while thinking she was socializing the dog. Both Molly and I negotiated our dogs quickly past this puppy, keeping them actively engaged and ignoring the problem dog, while the other dog continued to show aggressive behavior.

A few things came to mind-

-Your dog does not know the difference between intimidating and mean. They will continue react the way they have been allowed to react.

– A trained protector does not get to skip the ability to learn how to be social. Unless you only want a junk yard dog.

– Two puppies that were busy and living a purposeful life, had no problem being in a strange environment and getting by an unruly pup with little or no effort.

– If you want a dog to have a purpose, invest in the correct training to provide you with a confident dog that can respond accurately, proportionately, and within the right context.

– These types of dogs are far too common. Exercise great caution when having your pup exposed to dogs that have little or no guidance.