Managing an Aggressive Dog in Public & At Home
As a leading dog trainer in Toronto, we often get owners asking us whether it is possible to train an aggressive dog. As we have experience dealing with this type of dog, we know to tell them that aggressive behaviour does not necessarily indicate that their dog is naturally mean or bad. It is their way of expressing insecurity and fear. Read on to learn about managing an aggressive dog at home and in public.
Common Causes and Triggers of Dog Aggression
If you feel that your pup is showing signs of aggressive behaviour, it helps to know the root cause. Notice what they do when acting aggressively, such as growling, lunging or biting. Also, observe whether they behave differently in particular situations, or around certain people or things.
Reasons for dog aggression can include the following:
- Lack of socialization
- Traumatic experiences in the past with other dogs or people
- Being introduced to a new environment
Some triggers for aggression include:
- Interactions with particular people
- Meeting other dogs
- Being put on a leash
- Meeting strangers or feeling someone is entering their territory
- When they perceive specific things as a threat to their resources such as toys or food
Does Punishment Work?
Some dog owners feel that the best way to respond to dog aggression is to punish them. This approach, however, pushes them to lash out more instead of becoming obedient. It helps to remember that the main reason for harsh behaviour is fear and insecurity. If you react angrily to your dog that is already scared, it is likely to increase their fear, thus creating a cycle of aggression.
The best way to train an aggressive pup is to enroll them in dog obedience classes. It also helps to be understanding and compassionate towards them. This helps them to build confidence and get rid of their fear.
What Should You Do If Your Dog is Aggressive in Public?
Once you have identified the triggers for the unwanted behaviour exhibited by your dog, try and keep them away from those things or people. Space is key to helping your dog feel less threatened. It is essential to figure out how much space they require and build positive experiences with their triggers. This method is known as desensitization-counterconditioning.
Take your dog for small walks, familiarize them with the environment, and give them time to adapt to the changes. It helps to take them to quieter places for play and ensure they do not lash out suddenly before taking them out in public.
What Should You Do If Your Dog is Aggressive at Home?
In a way, dog aggression at home is a bigger challenge than aggression in public. The trainers in dog obedience classes believe that it helps to establish a protocol to manage them.
- Try and understand their cause of aggression.
- Help them get comfortable at your home and with your family members.
- Keep them away from new visitors and other dogs.
- Avoid any sudden actions when your dog is around.
- Reward them for good behaviour.
Also, consult with a professional dog trainer such as Alpha Paws to get reliable advice.
We Offer Dog Obedience Training in Toronto
At Alpha Paws, we have the best trainers for aggressive dogs to figure out what’s causing the unwanted behaviour and how to help them overcome it. We can help you create a plan and manage your dog’s aggression. We also have dog obedience classes in Toronto to help you develop a beautiful bond with them.
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