Thoughts on Training an Aggressive Dog

angry dog

There are two options for training an aggressive dog. First, you can punish aggressive behavior with methods like collar shockers to beat the animal into submission. The hope is that you dissuade him from aggressiveness. Second, you can address the bottom line — the cause of the aggression.

Many people who visit a dog trainer in Jacksonville, FL, want the first option which is unfortunate. Punishment increases the potential for a more aggressive dog as they age. Worse still, it makes the dog’s behavior worsen at the moment.

The same way you respond to aggression with more aggression is the same way a dog would. No wonder any trainer worth their salt will not use punishment even when it is warranted. They fix aggression in the following ways:

Guarding resources

It is very reasonable that a dog results in aggression to defend resources. Dogs that had to fight, even their mates to get food, for example, become aggressive. You might notice a desire to hoard food when someone tries to pet the dog.

This type of aggression manifests in different ways including growling or grabbing and running. Dogs start developing this behavior as pups, and if they get away with it, they accept it as usual. One should never force a dog that starts growling to give up something.

That is how to get bitten. Taking the resource the dog is fighting for makes the fight worse. A better approach is to feed such pups by hand and to reward them with better food when they do not compete.

It helps to teach the dog to leave items on your cue. You want them to realize that they get things faster if they give up something. Showing the dog impulse control works miracles.

Dog-to-dog aggression


Other times a dog is hostile to other dogs. The only way around such hostility is to train the dog as a puppy. Taking them to the park when they have already learned aggression will not help. By then, dogs cannot read posture, and so they overreact to other dogs with aggression.

They might not, for example, be able to tell when one dog wants to play. Social anxiety is an issue that dogs deal with too. As a rule of thumb, invest in a daycare provider, or walk your dog every day from when it is a puppy.

You want to socialize the animal properly. In a doggy daycare, they get to interact with other dogs and see how relationships happen. Over time, they will learn to recognize social cues that might have been hard to teach at home.

Dog-to-human aggression

A dog acting aggressively to humans is most likely afraid, defensive or territorial. They also probably have dominant issues. The best cause of action is to seek help. It is not recommended to self-teach such a dog. A behaviorist may offer medication, treatment, and training that helps the dog overcome aggression.

Every type of aggression in a dog is rooted in the way the dog feels. Addressing the feeling is much more effective than forcing compliance. Like humans, dogs too act on jealousy, hatred, and anger.

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