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Struggling with a pup that is just behaving a little on the aggressive side? In this article well go over some great dog aggression training tips to help stop and prevent your pup from continuing to display aggressive behavior!
What You Need To Know First
Dog aggression comes in many forms and with various underlining reasons. Before even applying any of the tips we will cover in this article its first best to understand why your go is behaving aggressively in the first place.
Most aggression in dogs stems from insecurity but every dog is different, we’ve outlined the various causes of aggression in dogs in the article here
10 Dog Aggression Training Tips
These are the top ten dog aggression training tips you and your pup can implement to minimize and prevent your pup from displaying aggressive behavior.
Tip #1: Don’t Allow Hard Staring:
The first dog aggression training tips is being able to stop your dog from being fixated and “hard staring”. You don’t want to allow your dog to “hard stare” at what your pup is behaving aggressively towards.
The problem isn’t letting your dog casually look at what he’s behaving aggressive toward but instead the intent behind the stare.
A dog that is “hard staring” at something that your dog usually displays aggressive behavior towards is creating a fixation and obsession.
An easy way to gauge how concerned your dog with what he usually aggresses to is simply getting your dog’s attention when he is in the middle of hard staring.
If you find that your dog is “hard staring” and isn’t paying any attention to you no matter what your do (EX: tug on the leash, treats, say his name, etc) then follow the next dog aggression training tips.
Tip #2: Become Relevant To Your Dog
Most dog owners would agree that to some extent they are viewed as “relevant” in their dog’s eyes and you’re not wrong, but how relevant are you when competing with outside distractions your dog may be more motivated in?
The truth is without proper training most dogs will be more focused on the environment than their owners!
Why is this important you ask?
Becoming relevant in the eyes of your dog with or without distractions is one the most important things you can do as a dog owner so stop and minimize dog aggression.
How do you begin becoming more relevant to your dog?
Training with your dog’s food!
Think about it how many things does your dog have to go to you for?
If you leave your dog’s food for him to eat all day what does your pup have to listen to you for?
Using your dog food for training ensure that you essentially kill to birds with one stone, you feed your pup and train him at the same time!
Tip #3: Become Pro-active Instead Of Re-active:
If you know you have a pup that reacts aggressively to something in particular don’t wait until your dog explodes and behaves aggressively instead be proactive in preventing your dog from exploding in the first place.
Up to now, you’ve learned to stop your dog fro hard staring, and to become relevant to your dog now you want to use a combination of both to prevent your dog from acting aggressively.
What I mean by this is be Pro-active instead of re-active for instance if your dog lunges, barks, and behaves aggressively when at a certain distance from another dog on a walk, don’t wait until your dog is at the end of the leash barking and lunging to stop the behavior.
Be more proactive by using a combination of tips1 and 2, to not have your dog at the end of the leash, get your dog’s attention, move away from the other dog, and ask your pup to sit facing away from the other dog and facing you instead.
Notice the difference?
Instead of waiting and being unprepared and reacting to your dog, you are setting your dog to succeed by putting you and your dog in the best possible position to not behave aggressively.
Tip # 4: Prevent Your Dog From Rehearsing Aggressive Behavior
Now that you know how to be proactive instead of reactive you’re able to set you and your dog up to succeed so that you can prevent your dog from rehearsing aggressive behavior.
The reason why you want to prevent your dog from continuously rehearsing aggressive behavior is of course because it’s dangerous but also because the more your dog practices and rehearses a behavior the more it will become a habit.
Prevention is going to critical in training your dog to stop behaving aggressively!
Tip #5: Use The Leash To Your Advantage
Our fifth dog aggression training tips is using the leash to your advantage.
The leash is a great tool to manage and have better control over your pup, which is especially important when covering any dog aggression training tips.
The leash is great for controlling and preventing your dog from practicing aggressive behavior!
Tip #6: Interrupt your dogs state of mind
This next dog aggression training tips is about snapping your dog out of that fixated excited state of mind your pup gets whenever triggered to behave aggressively.
Essentially you want to continue to use the combination of all the tips we have gone over thus far but this time you want to more aware of your dog’s state of mind.
You know your dog better than anyone but here are some things to look at for when understanding your dog’s state of mind.
– Perked ears
– Stiff tail
– Raised hackles
– Focused vision
Now that you know what to look for when your dog’s state of mind is aroused here’s what todo.
You want to use your leash and essentially pop on the leash either towards the right or left side of your dog’s neck.
This will depend on which side the distraction is on, if what your dog reacts to is on the left apply tension on the leash in the opposite direction and vise versa.
The point of this isn’t to just pop on the leash for the sake of popping on the leash but to snap your dog out of that excited state of mind and essentially be able to continue walking showing your pup its no big deal.
It’s important to understand that when dogs are in that excited state of mind adrenaline is released which makes it harder for your dog to respond as you may already know, for this technique to work you want to meet your dog at the level of your pup is.
For instance, if your dog is a 7 on a scale of 1-10 on how aroused he is towards what triggers him you want to pop on the leash firmly to meet his level 7.
If you pop on the leash to softly and don’t meet your dogs “arousal level” you won’t snap your dog out of that state of mind.
The sequence is:
– Dog gets aroused and fixated level 5 (perked ears, stiff tail fixated, pulling, barking, etc)
– You stop, pop on the opposite side of what triggers your dog (level 5)
– Continue walking in the opposite direction of your dog’s trigger.
Stop, pop, Go
Simple as that!
Tip #7: Use Rewards
You know how to snap your dog out of being in that aroused state of mind the next step is to use rewards to nurture the behavior you do want.
Using the same scenario as the last tip, once you stop, pop and go bring out your dog’s favorite treats and reward your dog for walking in the direction you are.
Doing this combined with our previous tips reinforces your dog walking and taking your direction instead of behaving aggressively!
Tip #8: Neutral dogs and People Are Your Friends
One the best dog aggression dog training tips is be around neutral dogs and people!
What I mean by neutral dogs and people are individuals who simply will not pay attention to your dog, these are you and your dog’s best friend.
Bringing your dog around other people and dogs who will not be phased by your pup reacting will begin teaching your dog that aggressive behavior such as barking, lunging, and snapping is not working.
Be sure to cultivate a group of friends and dogs who will gladly ignore your dog!
Tip #9: Set Up Controlled Scenarios
Now that you have neutral dogs and people to help out be sure to set up controlled scenarios where you and your pup can practice the tips stated above!
You want to begin showing your pup that his old behaviors won’t work anymore and that this is what your dog should be doing instead!
Tip #10: Stay Consistent With Training and Seek Help
Stay consistent, consistency is key when it comes to training this is especially true when it comes to reactive dogs that behave aggressively.
If you find that your dog is continuously behaving aggressively and find that it’s too much for you to handle be sure to seek help from a professional trainer.
Using the combonation of all these dog aggression training tips should help you and your pup stop aggressive behaviors.
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!