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Treating Dog Aggression

Training:

It may be necessary to enlist the assistance of a qualified dog training professional! Not a ‘behaviorist,’ and not a pet dog/obedience trainer. But rather, a trainer who deals daily [and specifically] with aggression. These include a Schutzhund/sport dog trainer, a police dog trainer, and/or a personal protection dog trainer. These folks must know how to turn aggression off as well as how to turn it on. They will be your best resource for evaluation, [i.e., what is behind your dog’s aggression.] They will also be able to counsel you appropriately as to whether your dog can or should be rehabilitated. Furthermore, they will be able to properly teach you how to effectively and safely handle and train your dog.

Sometimes, no matter how good our intentions are, a specific dog may not be a good match for us. If this is your sense, then be honest with yourself. In the mean time, stop putting yourself in the position of being able to get hurt. Stop giving your dog freedom– Actually, any freedom [off leash] should be off limits! He/she should ALWAYS be wearing a leash and training collar whenever she’s with you, outside of the crate/confined area.

When trying to change an unwanted behaviour it very often happens that the behaviour will get worse or occur more often just before a change for the better. Just be sure you are being consistent in what you ask of the dog. This means everyone in the family must be consistent, not always an easy task. Keep a training collar and lead on at all times so you can correct without having to put yourself in a position of being bit. And get yourself some professional training help.

Neutering:

Males are usually less aggressive towards other dogs (60% less according to statistics I have seen). It also makes them less dominant. They are 70% less likely to mount other dogs or people. Males will usually lose the urge to roam.  I have seen statistics that state that 90% of dogs that roam will stop after neutering. Dogs will be less likely to urine mark. Prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems later in life.

Invest in a good muzzle that will keep you from getting bitten [Bridgeport Leather 800-678-7353 is a good resource for these, but a qualified dog trainer will be able to assist you with this as well.] Aggression has a nasty tendency to escalate. Doing nothing will actually lead to further problems. You need to be very proactive if you are committed to fixing this.

Water Bottle:

I use a water bottle for all unwanted behaviours and it works wonders. When he is aggressive, reprimand him by squirting him with cold water, and growling a guttural growl.

References:

Adam G. Katz ~ DogProblems.com

Daniel Stevens ~ Sit Stay Fetch

*DogAggressionTraining.com

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