Dog Aggression Training Methods

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While the level of canine aggression has been greatly exaggerated by the media, it is still a fact that 2 percent of people are victims of dog bites each year and .1 percent of dogs bite humans. If you see your dog becoming aggressive, there are some quality dog aggression training methods you can use to curb the aggressive behaviors so that your dog does not become a statistic. However, one of the best dog aggression training methods is prevention itself.

Prevention is the Best Medicine: Neutering/Spaying & Socialization

Before you even see any signs of aggression in your dog, it is important to begin preventing the behaviors before they occur so you will not need to use dog aggression training methods later. You can start by spaying or neutering your dog and also keep your dog socialized from an early age. By letting your dog grow up around people and other dogs, you get them used to the way human society functions. Also, you should never leave your dog unsupervised around other people, especially children.

Not Just a Dog Problem

While prevention is key to minimizing the potential for aggression in your dog, there are some dog aggression training methods that will work well to decrease the undesirable behaviors in your dog. Some of these dog aggression training methods involve your dog, and others involve training you and the people that most commonly interact with your dog. Dog aggression is not just a dog problem, it is a people problem, too.

Before You Train: Why Is My Dog Acting This Way?

First, before you jump into any dog aggression training methods, you need to understand what is causing the aggression in your dog. Pay attention to the triggers of your dog's aggression, because it will determine which dog aggression training method you use.

The two most common reasons for dog aggression are fear and dominance, which can be minimized through training. However, aggression caused by things like maternal instincts or food often require more of a change in human behavior, by not challenging the situations. If your dog has a medical reason for the aggression, you will probably need to see a veterinarian to obtain treatment.

Reducing Fear Aggression

Still, if your dog is exhibiting aggression out of fear, there are dog aggression training methods that will allow you to minimize the dog's aggression in those situations. With any dog training, you need to begin with small steps. When your dog is afraid of something, their first instinct is to flee, but if they cannot run they will fight. In order to minimize the undesirable behavior in your dog, you can begin with small steps. Start by exposing your dog just a little bit to the situation causing the anxiety. Then try distracting your dog with a cookie or treat. If the dog reacts the way you want, give your dog a ton of praise. Take little steps until you get a consistent, desirable response.

Reducing Dominance Aggression

However, dominance aggression requires a bit of a different a different training approach. Dominance aggression comes from your dog considering you part of his or her pack, and they want to establish themselves as the "alpha dog." Deference training is usually the best approach. This type of training teaches your dog to look to you for "permission" before doing anything.

You will begin by letting the dog know you have control over everything. Toys, beds, food, walks, even affection need to be under your control so that your dog cannot obtain what it wants without your permission. You can establish this by requiring that your dog sit before it gets what it wants. Do not give in when your dog does not do what you want him or her to do. If your dog tries to ignore you, use a rattle or clicker to get his or her attention. Do not give your dog praise unless they do what you want, then praise them greatly. You will also want to avoid games like tug of war, which encourages the desire for dominance.

Whether you are trying to use dog aggression training methods to decrease aggressive behavior based on fear or dominance, you need to understand that during the initial training you will probably see an increase of aggression or rebellion in your dog. Remember, a dog functions at the same age level as a two or three year old, so it takes a lot more for them to understand what you want them to do, and they do not comprehend that the training is really in their best interest. Be patient with your dog during this time and know that you are being a responsible pet owner by using these dog aggression training methods to teach your dog how to live and act properly around people.



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