Bringing a new pup into your home can be exciting. But, when you’re expanding your family and adding a beloved pet into the mix, you may not expect to have to deal with aggressive behaviour in your dog.
Similarly, it may be disconcerting when your older dogs begin to exhibit aggressive behaviour out of the blue. Your first thought may be to train your dog. However, aggressive dog training can be much more complicated than a ‘normal’ training regime
If you want to know how to train your aggressive dog, then we have a quick guide on a few things you should do to take those first steps.
Guide To Aggressive Dog Training
Training an aggressive or reactive dog is important for the safety and wellbeing of the humans around it – as well as for the dog itself. Most aggression is born out of fear or frustration. So, it’s important to help your dog overcome any triggers that may set off an aggressive reaction.
There isn’t a rulebook when it comes to what the root cause of aggression is in your dog. But, there are a few signs that you can look for. This will help you identify what triggers a strong emotional or aggressive reaction in your dog.
For instance, say you notice that your dog becomes aggressive around other dogs when it is usually calm and loving in its own space. In this case, you may have identified the root cause of your pup’s aggression.
Some of the most common triggers in dogs include:
- past abuse or trauma
- strange animals or humans
- walking on a leash
- food or resource guarding
- feeling trapped or threatened
A dog that feels like it has nowhere to run and hide will often become aggressive to anyone around it. So, make sure that you always give your pet enough room to leave or escape a situation in which it may feel frightened.
Being able to pinpoint what sets your aggressive dog off is the first step to properly training your companion and helping them to overcome their fears.
While some dogs react aggressively out of fear, it’s important to remember that young puppies that haven’t been properly socialised or who get too excited may also exhibit aggressive behaviours.
This can easily be rectified by having a trainer certified in behavioural correction come to your home and assist you in controlling these unwanted behaviours.
Take Your Dog To The Vet
If you’ve ever snapped at someone or felt particularly miserable when you’re ill, then it should come as no surprise that dogs may feel the same. A dog that is in pain or is feeling unwell may be particularly irritable and can tend to lash out.
If your dog has begun acting aggressively and the behaviour has seemingly come out of nowhere, then you may need to take your dog to the vet for a thorough checkup. This will help eliminate the possibility of your dog acting out due to pain or sickness.
Don’t Punish Aggressive Behaviour
Never punish your dog for behaving badly. Dogs simply don’t understand the concept of punishment so it won’t help and it will likely lead to more aggression.
Rather, reward your dog for good behaviour. And, when you know what triggers your dog, reward him or her for acting calmly in the presence of the trigger. This will help condition their behaviour.
Seek Out A Professional Trainer
While you can always train your pup on your own with the right information and tools, aggressive dogs pose a bigger threat to your safety when training.
By seeking out the help of professional trainers, like Allbreeds, you’ll have a better chance at successful aggressive dog training.
During aggressive dog training, your trainer will more than likely ask you a few basic questions about what triggers your dog’s aggression, their health, and their exercise regime.
Exercise is an important stress reliever for dogs. And if your dog has too much pent-up energy with no way to release it, this energy may manifest as aggressive tendencies or behaviours.
Aggressive dogs have just as much chance as any other dog at rehabilitation. Because aggressive behaviours are born out of fear, aggressive dog training is mainly focused on exposure to their triggers in order to overcome their limitations.
If your dog is acting aggressively towards humans or other animals, you’ll need to identify their triggers and get them to a vet to eliminate any possible health issues that are contributing to the problem. Then you can correct these behaviours by contacting one of Allbreed’s canine specialists.