Angel Dog Devil Dog

The Angel Dog Devil Dog phenomenon is so prevalent that I have to take to asking every client who phones me to ask for help with their devil dog whether they have any other dogs. And in cases where they do, the other dog is often, but not always, the cause of the devil dog’s behaviour. And if not, will have some more subtle problems of its own.

Let me explain this dog psychology phenomenon further. Typically when people decide  to get someone in to help it is because they have come to the end of their tether with one dog’s behaviour. They will then call or email me explaining how terrible this particular dog is and that they need help sorting the dog’s behaviour out. They might then mention another dog that they have which they may describe as ‘an angel’ or ‘good as gold’. When I actually arrive, it is often the case that the ‘angel dog’ is actually really a very subtle devil, and in some cases is actually the cause of the devil dog’s behaviour.

Case study: Devil Louis and Angel Ted

I arrive at a family’s home to help them with their devil dog Louis who has bitten, and I am also aware that they have a dog called Ted whom they have described as an angel. As I enter the house a small dog comes and stands in front of me and growls continuously, whilst another stands and long way back and just watches. I ignore them both, so not giving them any cause for alarm, and say to the owners, nodding at the growling dog, “So, this must be Louis”, “No” they reply, “That’s Ted, he just growls at everyone,he’s never bitten.”

So because Ted had never bitten, and he was a small fluffy thing, they didn’t see his behaviour as a problem. Unfortunately Louis did; seeing his pack mate distressed and warning everyone off, Louis had learned to back Ted up, and bite people who didn’t heed Ted’s warning. What a team! Both of them taking responsibility for keeping their owners safe from danger. So I taught the owners how to take the leadership role, so both their dogs could step down and relax, with no more growling or biting needed.

Often the angel dog has even less obvious behaviour, they will just look for opportunities to gain height and look down at the devil dog, or seek extra attention. The devil dog is usually the more highly strung so will get wound up, and then their devil behaviour comes out, while the clever and confident angel dog scores another point!

If you think yomight need help with your angel dog, get in touch, I will be quite happy to come round and help you with all your dogs in one go! I can help with all dog behaviour problems in Essex and the surrounding areas.

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