Knowing how to deal with an aggressive dog or a dog that is starting to show aggression in the home is a vital part of being a good down owner.
You have to learn these Aggressive Dog Training Tips because your safety, your family’s safety, and your dog’s overall wellbeing depend on it.
So you did the right thing and have gone to a rescue center to get your new dog.
Well done you, it really is the best way to go.
They have assured you that he or she is the right dog for you and the dog may have a bit of aggression, but it’s nothing to worry about.
All good? Well, maybe…
You get home with your “new” dog only to find that they are just a bit more aggressive than you first imagined.
Does this sound familiar?
My Brush With The Law
It happened to me so I decided to tell you what I did and how you can copy the same simple principles to de-escalate your dog’s aggressiveness.
I have been on the receiving end of having an aggressive dog and it certainly is not a pleasant experience. Mine was worse because my dog bit someone and the Police were involved.
My dog was off-lead in a secure paddock near my home and another dog and owner came in and the two dogs decided they didn’t like each other and locked jaws.
The other owner tried to split them up and my dog nipped him on the hand.
And even though there were lots of factors in play, I was in the wrong in my mind anyway.
The Police were great about the issue and told me that in their opinion if you put your bare hands in between two fighting dogs, you can expect a bite.
This didn’t make me feel better, but at least it was a case of dogs being dogs!
Dogs communicate with one another in many ways, and aggressive behavior is just one way that dogs do so.
Like humans aggressiveness can vary depending on the level at which it occurs – this means breeds may have something to teach us about different levels of canine aggression!
A dog’s natural prey drive can be triggered by many things, including other animals and people. A well-socialized pup will not show aggression unless encouraged to do so through their owners or guests who know nothing about canine behavior – but it doesn’t always work out that way!
It is important for any owner with an aggressive pet to understand what triggers this type of behavioral response; attacking someone in your own home may have been justifiable self-defense if you were being attacked first without consent.
But if your dog bites you when you push him off the couch, or the postman when he is delivering, then that would certainly be criminal and you could be in for a lot of serious problems.
The Three Types Of Aggressive Behaviour Exhibited By Dogs
In dogs, aggression can appear in three main forms, including possessive aggression, dominance aggression, and territorial aggression.
Let’s look at these more closely
Dominance between dogs is an inevitable result of their interactions with owners and the world.
Dogs have been accessing this position for some time, but now they want to challenge you as the alpha leader.
No matter how much space a dog has or does not need when interacting on any level from mild dominance through aggressive behavior such as growling at someone who approaches too closely — he will always test his limits in order to squash any threat which may come along later down [the] road (or today)!
Your dog may have been acting aggressively towards you lately, but he is still a member of the family.
He needs to be brought down from that high horse and shown who’s boss- YOU!
Territorial aggression is a very common problem for dogs.
This form of dog behavior can range from just being protective to violently aggressive, but it’s important not only to understand the signs and symptoms in your pup as well as their triggers so you have an idea when something may be about to happen or has happened recently with them around others who are unfamiliar (stranger).
Introducing socialization early on will help break down suspicion that could lead to too much fear which causes then overprotective instincts!
Try taking him out often – even if it simple things like going shopping together where there isn’t another person nearby always help build up trust between pet parents and offspring.
If you don’t know how your dog behaves in public, make sure he has a muzzle and leash. This is for both your safety as well as the general population!
More often than not dogs are put down if they bite someone or do any kind of injury on them – there are NO “ifs” or butts about this.
This is the type of aggressive behavior that occurs when a dog protects its possession from other animals and people.
The most important thing you can do to help with this issue is to make sure their favorite toys don’t have be shared with others. That is not to say that you can’t pick them up to wash them of course.
If you get yourself into a situation where your dog is aggressive toward you if you touch anything that essentially you have given them, then you have a problem.
You need to be in charge and you have to be in charge.
It’s time for you to learn to FIRM BUT FAIR!
So what can you do?
Firstly, It is best to avoid physical punishment if at all possible; it is too provocative and may make matters worse.
Positive reinforcement is always the best way to go and it is best to start early and do not skip this because dogs are smart and will soon learn to either take you seriously or simply ignore you.
Secondly, Find out why your dog is challenging you by examining your relationship with them.
Assume the alpha leader role again by taking the following steps:
Listen for a second. Many experts out there always start to moan when the word ALPHA is mentioned, but they need to understand that dogs don’t care about what new fangled spin in dog training has suddenly become all the rage!
Dogs…..They don’t think that way!
They see you as either Alpha and they respect you or they don’t see you as anything else than the provider of food and shelter.
You really don’t want your dog to see you as weak.
Being a strong leader for your dog is absolutely the key aspect of any kind of training and you need your dog to respect you.
Ways To Show You Are The Alpha To Your Dog
Eat before you let your dog eat.
In the wild, the alpha of a group of wild dogs or wolves will always eat before the rest of the pack. This is a statement that says, “I am in charge…I eat first” Your dog will understand this very quickly and instinctively know that you are the leader, the alpha
It is necessary for you to go through doorways first and for your dog to follow YOU.
In a pack, the strongest dogs will always be at the front in order to check out any potential danger. You must go through first, this lets your dog know that you are in charge.
Play strength games with your dog but do not let it win.
I am personally not a huge fan of tug games, but if I do play with my boy this way, I always try to win, and if I get fed up, I simply look away and drop the tug and walk off. He doesn’t see that as a solid win and that he beat me, more of an “oh, he walked off” kind of scenario.
It’s ok with a Greyhound or a small dog but you are never going to win against a big powerful dog like a German Shepherd or Rottweiller so it’s a game best avoided.
Make sure your dog does not assume a position of superiority over you.
Some dogs like to jump up on people and you do see people encouraging it. Please don’t. It’s dominant behavior and should be avoided. A simple strong command like “DOWN” and point to the floor really does work.
Establish and enforce your house rules consistently, and make him aware of the rules.
Follow these tips every single day and enforce them along with any other training like toilet training and if you do this, your dog will soon learn who is in charge.
Lastly, remember that aggression is no small problem and needs to be seriously dealt with. If you feel like your dog has outsmarted you in a fight or conflict, seek professional help as soon as possible because this could lead to more serious issues.
Dogs are not always the easiest animals to deal with, but that should never excuse bad behavior.
If you don’t deal with dog aggression and follow the simple ways outlined here then I am sad to say that the authorities in your country WILL deal with the issue, you and your dog for you.
You need to try the tips that I have outlined here and have the confidence to do them too.
Dogs are smart and will soon work out if you are serious or not.
Serious dog owners are good dog owners and dogs really do learn but YOU need to be a good teacher and strong and confident.
If You can’t control your dog or keep him from getting aggressive in any way, and this could be because he has been mistreated by someone else before you got him, it is vital that you get professional help as soon as possible.