Big dog behaving badly gets attitude adjustment thanks to good training

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Duke is a 185-pound South African Mastiff. Duke’s owner said that he became aggressive toward his son.

They were about to give up on him, until they called an expert on dog behavior.

That’s when, they say, Duke’s attitude started to change -- for the better.

Michael Burkey, who runs Michigan Dog Training in Plymouth, doesn’t like the term “dog whisperer."

He is a professional dog trainer and dog behaviorist. Burkey said a dog’s actions, good or bad, are rooted in emotions.

Common myths that can get in the way of dog training are:

1. Don’t give your dog too much credit for his generous nature.


2. A dog will be happier if you don’t burden him with a lot of rules and training

Both of those are myths that can get in the way of proper dog training, Burkey said.

Duke’s behavior turned aggressive when he was attacked by another dog when he was in a training class as a puppy.

According to Burkey, the most important thing in training your dog is to be consistent. Don’t punish a bad behavior if you haven’t first taught the good behavior.

It's not all that different from good parenting.

After six months of training, Duke’s owners say his behavior has improved dramatically.

For more information on Michigan Dog Training where Duke received his training, click here.