How Canine Aggression Can Be Solved with Training
Aggression is the scariest part of owning a dog and for a lot of potential owners, it’s what holds them back from finally adopting. What if my dog is aggressive towards me or my child? What will happen if my dog is aggressive towards other dogs or strangers? Aggression happens, but it happens for different reasons and at different times. Despite it being scary and having serious repercussions, there are manageable and long lasting solutions that start with training. We believe that no dog is beyond help, and our trainers have worked with all kinds of behavioral issues for years, including managing varying levels of dog aggression.
Our training approach is different. We know that it takes time, dedication, and a steady routine to change behavior, which is why we work with you every step of the way to ensure that your dog is getting lessons that they’ll benefit from and remember. The key to changing any behavior, even aggression, is patience and consistency. As the owner, you are setting an example for your dog and in many instances, if you start getting aggravated when your dog shows aggression, they may read that as you giving them increased attention and continue the behavior. By staying calm, avoiding triggers that aggravate your dog and not feeding into their excitement, you can teach your dog that avoidance is better than confrontation. If you move in a different direction to avoid the stimuli, your dog will follow you.
Similarly, this avoidance combined with desensitization will create new associations that teach them not to view the stimuli as a threat. Once your dog is controlled enough to be near other dogs or people, let them sit calmly near the stimuli and reward any calm or controlled behavior. Exposing your dog to what they view as a threat in a controlled environment will teach them that the object is less of a threat each time they are introduced to it like this. If he starts getting aggressive, provide a distraction or move him away, enforcing that avoidance is encouraged. Repeating this will help him unlearn his behavior.
If you feel unsafe or need guidance getting started, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us at 800.649.7297. Our training experts are happy to work with you to find the best solution for your dog.