The Four States NPR News Source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KRPS 89.9 FM is operating at approximately 30% power due to transmitter issues. We are working to restore full 100,000-watt power at the site. The signal is clear within a 30-mile radius of Pittsburg, including Joplin, Parsons, and Fort Scott. Streaming continues regardless of transmitter issues. Download our app, ask your smart speaker to play 'NPR' and select 'KRPS' or stream us from this website.

Dog trainers explain what prompts dogs to bite someone

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Joe Biden's dog Commander has left the White House. The 2-year-old German shepherd bit a Secret Service agent on Monday. It was the latest of several biting incidents for the first pooch.

NICK WHITE: Obviously, the dog isn't comfortable in that environment.

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

That's Nick White. He's a former Secret Service agent and owner of Off Leash K9 Training. White says that White House dogs can deal with hundreds of people a day.

WHITE: Secret Service to White House staff to Navy staff to contractors who are coming in and out.

FADEL: It's a tough place for people, let alone dogs. Author and veteran dog trainer Robin Bennett says it's important to identify the specifics of what triggers a bite.

ROBIN BENNETT: Is it fast-moving objects? Is the dog protecting his bed? Is he scared of people that have sunglasses on?

MARTÍNEZ: Now, if sunglasses are a big fear, it helps if the dog's given a high-value treat by the person wearing sunglasses.

BENNETT: So after a while, the dog says people with glasses are great 'cause I get chicken when I see them.

FADEL: White says the No. 1 reason for aggression in dogs is a lack of socialization at a young age.

WHITE: We're seeing that a lot with what we call the COVID dogs. So those dogs and those people weren't going out to stores with their dogs. They weren't going out to parks.

FADEL: With dogs, you should never assume the problem is going to fix itself.

WHITE: In general in dogs, I would say even like people, behavioral issues are going to get worse over time. They're not going to improve over time.

MARTÍNEZ: So if your dog is biting, White says it's cheaper to get a dog trainer now than to pay for the damage later. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.