6 Tips To Minimize Dog Aggression

Dog aggression is a serious and unfortunately very common problem.  While extreme cases should be handled by a professional, dog owners can try these six tips to begin to address their dog’s aggression towards other dogs.

1. Train your dog

Having a trained dog is very important.  In fact usually when a dog has been trained well we don’t see dog aggression, because the dog has been taught that showing aggression is not allowed.

2. Re-socialize your dog to other dogs

Hopefully your dog was socialized between birth and 20 weeks of age.  The proper socialization during this period is very important. If your dog was not socialized with other dogs during this period it is possible that it will never be able to be around other dogs.

3. Keep your dog distracted as you pass other dogs on the street

With a trained dog this is easy to do simply by giving your dog a “heel” command.  A nicely trained dog will ignore the distraction and do what it was commanded.

4. Neuter or spay your dog to prevent sexually based aggression

Yes, it’s true neutering or spaying your dog at an early age can help with aggression.  However after the age of 3 -4 years neutering may not help because the aggression the dog has been doing is now learned and does not rely on testosterone.

5. Put your dog in a down-stay when he needs a moment to calm down

The down and down stay commands or the most important and powerful exercises you have for gaining control of your dog.  When you need control simply put your dog in the down position.  With dogs that show aggression this exercise is a must.

6. Make sure you do not give the wrong body language to your dog

As a dog owner your body language is very important as well to maintain your position as the master and alpha of your pack.  As trainers we talk about the fact that your thoughts go up and down the leash so make sure you are having positive thoughts.

As you can see, dog aggression can be handled many different ways.  By learning to work through aggression problems, you can begin to help your dog learn new ways of handling himself around other dogs.

If your dog is going to show dog aggression it will usually happen sometime around 12 – 24 month of age.  Keep in mind that dog aggression usually doesn’t get better by itself so be sure to look for help from a canine behavior specialist or a trainer with experience with dog aggression…

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Mark Mansfield
 

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