Dealing With Dog to Dog Aggression

It is very common for dogs to be aggressive towards other dogs in certain situations.  Particularly when they are in their territory or on a leash, dogs can feel trapped or threatened.  In this type of situation, many dogs will react by showing hostility towards another dog they see or come in contact with.  They are protecting you, their territory or themselves.  This all makes sense, but that does not mean that dog to dog aggression is something you have to live with.  You should do something about it.

In order to deal effectively with dog to dog aggression, you have to view it as you would any other bad behavior.  As any bad behavior, dog to dog aggression can be addressed and eliminated by utilizing the proper training techniques.  You may feel that you can just deal with it, but addressing dog to dog aggression is better for you and your dog for several reasons:

1 –   Your relationship with your dog

If your dog engages in aggressive behavior towards other dogs, it can put a great strain on the relationship between you and your dog.  This type of bad behavior can make walks frustrating and  unpleasant experiences for both of you.  You will be unhappy with your dog, and your dog will likely be confused about why.  As far as the dog is concerned this is necessary behavior as in his/her mind, they were protecting you and themselves and will not understand why you are unhappy.

2 –   Safety

It will also be better for both your safety and that of your dog if you can eliminate dog to dog aggressive behavior.  There are numbers of unpleasant scenarios to contemplate.  Your dog may pull you down trying to get at another dog, or he may break free of your grasp all together.  These are not good situations to contemplate, but if you have an aggressive dog, it is likely that you have thought about them more than once.

3-   Take Charge

It is time to do something about this aggressive behavior.  To do this though, you have to take charge of your relationship with your dog and take control of the situation.  Your dog will respond to the cues he gets from you.  You need to stay calm and patient throughout the training process.  It can take some time, and certainly some effort on the part of both you and your dog, but it can be done.

Just like in any other training situation, you need to be the alpha – the boss.  There can be no ambiguity in your dog’s mind about who is in charge – him or you.  Once you have accomplished this, you are already half way there.  Maintaining your consistency during every training session is essential to your success as well.

Unfortunately there is no use hoping this behavior will go away.  In fact, aggressive behavior, if not addressed, will often only get worse with time.  The sooner you do with it the better.

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Claudie on September 7th 2010 in Dog behavior, training Tips

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