We Went Through Training But Now My Dog Is Aggressive

If this is you then yes you can go through some obedience training and end up with an aggressive dog. In fact this is what recently happened to a lady that called me.  She trained her dog at 6 months with some in-home private lessons and is now looking for answers as to why her 2-year-old dog is showing aggression.

One of the first questions I ask this type of caller is “I realize you went through some training 18 months ago but is your dog well-trained”.  She told me that the dog did fairly well with its training and was somewhat reliable on the sit.  I told her lets forget how well the dog was trained 18 months ago the question is “do you have a trained dog today?”

Her reply “not really”.  Unfortunately most people who go thru an obedience program think that the dog is trained and nothing else is required.  This is absolutely WRONG thinking. Your dog will go through training its entire life.

So now back to why the dog is showing aggression.  From what I was told there are a couple of real possibilities.

The dog is a German Shepherd and was possibly not properly socialized during the socialization period from birth to 20 weeks.  This is probably the problem with the dog however there is another possibility.

She explained that the dog shows aggression to people when she is with the dog but not when it is with her husband.  So here we are back to training.  She said that the dog’s obedience is much better with her husband even though she was the person that did the original training. She told me that her husband did not allow the dog to get by with things but that she was much easier and allowed the dog to misbehave.

So how do we solve the problem?  We need to start off with training again because this dog feels that she is not in charge and she has shown this by not making the dog behave and not following up on it obedience.  Simply stated this dog feels that it needs to protect her. Training will teach the dog its place in the back and put the owner at the top of the pack.

Hopefully this will do the trick and the lack of socialization is not the issue.  During the training we will do some behavior modification to teach the dog that meeting new people is a good thing.

Mark Mansfield
 

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