What is the best way to train a dog not to be aggressive towards other dogs?

TENSION
TENSION
AGRESSION
AGRESSION
YOU'RE IN TROUBLE
YOU'RE IN TROUBLE

Cesar Recommends It

Do you ever watch The Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic channel? Cesar Milan has visited many dogs who tend to be agressive toward other dogs and/or people. Though some professional dog trainers criticize his "dog psychology" methods, I, for one, believe he knows what he's talking about. Below are the tips I've noticed Cesar gives to dog owners who have agressive dogs. Most of the time it is easier to control the situation when the dog is on a leash.

1) On the first sign of tension (your dog goes from a relaxed state to a tense, fixated state), correct the behavior immediately. Stop, and firmly tug on the leash or make your usual disciplinary action (a quick "no", or a firm touch to the dog's side). If your dog respects you as the "pack leader" and is used to following your commands, it should snap out of the tension right away.

2) Force the dog to sit and relax beside you. This will only happen if you have already diverted the dog's attention away from the object of fixation.

3) If the dog is still in a tense state, then you need to clearly show your dog who is "boss". I find that standing firmly and confidently directly in front of the dog and saying "no" gets its attention and reminds them that he/she looks up to you, not the other way around. "Blocking" the dog also shows you are controlling the situation and that it is not allowed to go forward any further.

4) Once the dog is relaxed, you can then keep walking. Make sure you don't lose sight of the his/her facial expression and body language. Some dogs will be quick to re-focus on the object that they got fixated on a moment before and get tense all over again. You need to stay calm and make sure that you show your dog that the situation does not bother you, so it shouldn't pay attention and just keep walking as well.

5) Lastly, Cesar always stresses the importance of excercise. If you have a particularly energetic and active dog, letting it out in the backyard for potty breaks isn't gonna cut it. The dog should be walked daily for at least 30 minutes. This activity is rewarding to them and reinforces your place as the "pack leader" (assuming your dog walks calmy beside you, not pulling and tugging in front of you!). When a dog does not get enough exercise, or does not have a leader to follow, it may get frustrated and will sometimes release the pent up energy by being aggressive. This is unhealthy dominant behavior and must be corrected immediately.

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Comments 11 comments

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

These are great tips for someone with a little more training experience versus someone with less training experience. I would definitely suggest teaching the leave it command and reinforcing basic obedience. I'm not a fan of Cesar Millan, but he does have a few good points generally speaking. I wouldn't use him as a go-to source. The tips that you outlined will only work if the dog knows basic obedience and the owner reinforces them daily in normal, non-tense situations.


byee profile image

byee 8 years ago Author

Yeah this is true. Most people with aggressive dogs usually have issues with obedience already anyway. I do agree that basic obedience should be reinforced first then controlling the dog in aggressive situations should be easier. Thanks for the comment =).


jackryper 8 years ago

Whitney05 always attacks other people's hubs. She will always moan about something. She is jeaous of your hub.

Great hub and very interesting reading, so I rated it and gave a thumbs up!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

byee, i was not attacking your hub. I was giving you more advice to add too.


epictruth profile image

epictruth 8 years ago from Frisco

Good hub. I have a weimaraner myself and believe the key is to begin training them at an early age. (8 weeks if possible)

-your newest fan


byee profile image

byee 8 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment epictruth!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

Byee, good hub!

Do you have tips for curbing aggression off-leash?


byee profile image

byee 7 years ago Author

Aya, I find that voice commands often aren't enough to control aggression off-leash. You definitely have to physically control your dog by firmly tapping/touching them or blocking them. Hope that helps!


Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 7 years ago from Central Oregon

Good advise. Our dog was not socialized properly when she was a pup and became rather aggressive when around other dogs. She's not 14 and will probably leave us with in the next year. Although, now that she's old, she is no longer aggessive, just interested. I'll do a better job next time.


icepricessa profile image

icepricessa 6 years ago from Singapore

very good tips! thanks for sharing


charl 6 years ago

does this actually stop your dog being aggressive to other dogs?

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