Lamping: Bad dog diary: Human aggression

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

I just can't take it anymore.

My human is extremely aggressive. He has horrible food aggression. Every time I even come near him while he is eating, his nostrils flare and he starts snarling at me. I can't sniff the food, look at it or lick the bowl when he is finished. The only food in the house that he will share is this bag of dry pellets that taste questionable, at best.

That's not even the worst of it. Each time another human comes to the house, he goes bonkers. He starts looking out the window, grooming himself and burying everything he can find. Then, when the doorbell rings he totally freaks! Why are humans so crazy about bells?

I won't even go into his etiquette upon greeting. He is so rude. He completely bypasses the customary sniffing of hind quarters and aggressively squeezes the other human until they reciprocate. They call this hugging, but I find it inappropriate. He then possessively guards his friend from me as if he is afraid that I am the embarrassing one, for dog's sake.

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What do you do when your dog begs? Or greets guests inappropriately? Do you scream and flail about irritably?

Perhaps your dog finds you aggressive.

We discuss canine aggression in great length, but what do we make of this account of human aggression? It is a hilarious concept, but just take a minute and really imagine what a situation looks like from your pet's point of view.

Treating your human food aggression is actually quite easy if you are consistent. Instead of sneering over your bowl of chicken stir fry, try teaching your dog an acceptable begging location, distant from the table and your food. You could teach your pet to wait patiently on a designated mat or area for left over dog-friendly goodies or treats as a reward.

As for guests, the doorbell has come to indicate an unwelcome visitor, because from his point of view it is their arrival that provokes your irritability. You can change this by altering your doorbell routine. Hang a sign outside that says, “Dog in training; Please wait patiently.” When the bell rings, walk to the freezer and pull out a Kong toy filled with frozen peanut butter, give it to your dog and watch him forget about your human customs of hugs, handshakes and lack of sniffing. Problem solved and everyone is happy.

Andrea J. Lamping trains dogs in the greater airport area, including Sewickley, Moon, Robinson and Hopewell. She can be reached at 724-984-7829 or visit her website at

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