Why do dogs become aggressive? How can we stop otherwise lovable pets from becoming dangerous menaces?
First, we must understand where their aggressive nature comes from. Following that, we can implement the necessary dog aggression training methods to put a stop to the problem.
A Bit of History...
The key to training your dog to be less aggressive is to first determine what is triggering the aggression. Many times the root lies in the dog's genetics: as a descendant of wolves, dogs are instinctively hard-wired to be aggressive, territorial animals. When they lived in the wild, packs of wolf-like dogs would fight over food and defend their territories.
Though this behavior has of course diminished over the years, for certain dog breeds, such as Dobermans and Rottweilers, the impulse to attack and defend is still very much present. That is why it is up to YOU, the dog owner, to train this behavior out of dogs. Though you can't change a dog's true colors, you CAN learn proper dog aggression training methods that will prevent and curtail aggressive behavior. Here are a few:
Prevention Is The Cure!
When there are several people around, it may pay to tether your dog so that he feels involved but his movements are restricted. He will understand that violence is not to be condoned, yet still be a part of the social atmosphere.
Neutering and Spaying
Especially for male dogs, having your dog de sexed is a good idea. Intact dogs are more likely to display dominance, territorial and protective aggressive behavior. Please note, however, that fixing your dog is NOT a quick fix and it can take several moths for your canine to settle down after the surgery. In addition, sometimes the spaying or neutering has no effect at all, so don't rely solely on this aggression training method.
The "time out" method works almost as well with dogs as it does with unruly children. If you dog is acting overly aggressive and is not responding to other methods, then you should banish him to a room where he is alone and not given attention for five to ten minutes. In the wild, unruly members of the pack were ostracized until they had learned their lesson. The same rules apply today as they did hundreds of years ago. Dogs HATE to be alone, and should get the message that acting aggressively will result in solitude.
If your dog acts aggressively to strangers in public, or to guests at home, you might want to consider a muzzle. While this isn't a first resort, if your dog does act unpredictably while on walks or just out in the yard, then it certainly is something to consider.
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Some situations may be out of the owner's control, especially if the irritation is happening outside of your yard. Try building a privacy fence or otherwise keeping the dog away from the source of irritation. Dogs should be trained to sit and wait for humans to respond, to give time for the dog to calm down and be able to respond to petting without aggression. Dogs that are penned or kept together may need to be separated if one dog displays transferred aggression.
Dogs that become aggressive in fear-provoking situations need to be reassured and re-socialized. Spend additional time and build up the dog's self-confidence. Take it slow and reward all progress, gradually working up to bigger challenges. A socialization class may help this type of dog after it has become used to new environments. Make sure that as much as possible are experiences with new situations are positive, at least for the first while. Watch for any signs of stress that your dog may be experiencing and remove them from the situation before aggression begins.
Dog Aggression Guides
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