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Training Aggressive Dogs

Updated on January 16, 2015
Learn how to stop dog aggression
Learn how to stop dog aggression | Source

How to Stop Aggressive Dog Behavior

Aggression is natural for dogs and everyone realizes that dogs can seriously hurt humans and other animals. Fortunately, there are ways for dog owners to prevent dog aggression. If you are dealing with an aggressive dog, it is vital that he receives the correct dog obedience training right away, before someone is injured.

Aggressive dogs will most often be aggressive towards strangers or family members. Dog aggression can be caused by many different factors so it should be reacted to in different ways.

Aggression to Strangers

The main reason dogs dislike strange animals and humans is due to the fact that they haven't had an opportunity to become familiar with them. Getting dogs accustomed to being with people and animals they don't know is called socialization. It's impossible to overly stress the necessity of socialization in your dog's training. You're probably wondering how socialization can stop aggressive dogs from attacking the postman or pizza delivery boy. A dog that is socialized starts to realize that new experiences can be enjoyable rather than frightening.

It is essential that your dog learns this at a young age. If your dog is frequently around various kinds of people (such as, men in uniform, elderly people, young children, teens, people carrying umbrellas or wearing helmets in a relaxed and fun environment, the less aggressive your dog is likely to be with strangers.

Puppy group training courses (often run by pet stores or at a vet office) are a good place to socialize your dog in a controlled environment. During these sessions, your dog will be taught how to interact with strange dogs. He will also realize that there is no reason for him to be afraid of the strangers at these sessions. It is important that he is not overwhelmed - begin slowly to allow his tolerance to grow over time.

Aggression Towards Family Members

The most usual reasons for dogs showing aggression to their human family are:

  • Your dog is guarding his food and toys from his owner or family members. Resource guarding is quite normal behavior for dogs.
  • Dogs being pack animals show dominant behavior according to where they see themselves ranked in the hierarchy of the household. To your dog, your family composition is no different from that of a dog pack. If your dog sees himself in a higher position than you or your family members, he'll become aggressive.

Such resource guarding is typical of dominant behavior, as an underdog would never show aggression to a more highly ranked member of the pack.

Dog obedience training is the best method to stop aggression in dogs, which will make it clear to your dog that you are the "alpha dog". Your "alpha dog" status can be strengthened with rewards such as treats and praise when he responds appropriately to a command, and with "time-out" for bad dog behavior.


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    • sscott profile image

      sscott 6 years ago

      I agree. This must be done within your dog's first five months.

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      barking dog 8 years ago

      Aggressive dogs have a behavior problem: aggression. In order to stop this dog behavior problem from getting out of hand it is very important to socialize and train your puppy early on.