How Can I Correct My Aggressive Dog?

You can not possibly imagine the number of times I am asked that same question every week.  As a professional dog trainer two-thirds of my business deals with dog aggression of one type or another.  This question is always difficult to answer because there are many different types of aggression.  In order to answer the question I need to know a lot about the dog so that I can determine what type of aggression we are dealing with.

I always have my clients fill out a form that gives me all types of information about their dog and its behavior.  It allows me to determine what type of aggression the dog has and allows me to develop a treatment and training program to help solve the problem.

Unfortunately a lot of people are trying to correct the problem with their dog without any experience or knowledge on how to properly do it.  Trying to correct an aggression problem with no experience can be very dangerous.  Every dog with an aggression problem needs to start with some obedience training so that the owner can establish himself as the master and give the dog someone to look to for leadership.

Most of the calls I get about aggression always tell me the same thing.  They own a mature dog that has never had any training… none!  Owning a dog and never training it is like having a baby and never teaching it what is right and what is wrong.  When it becomes a teenager you will have a monsterJust like an untrained dog with no training at all.

If aggression is an issue with your dog you need to seek the help of a trainer or behavior specialist that has the needed expertise to help you with the problem.  Keep in mind that aggression never gets better on its own and the dog will not out grow it.  The longer you wait the worse the aggression will get and the more likely that it will not be corrected.

Many thousands of dogs are put to sleep annually because of aggression.  It’s sad but not all dogs can be rehabilitated.  Sometimes the owners just wait too long or they are not willing to the take the time or spend the money that is required.

Keep in mind with your next dog to socialize your dog before it is 20 weeks old and to start obedience training at 4 months.  Here is something to think about.  I have never seen a well-behaved trained dog that is aggressive.  So start early to reap the benefits later.

Mark Mansfield
 

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