How to Control and Train an Aggressive Dog
Having a dog can bring many joys into your life, after all, they are known as a man’s best friend. If you don’t have much experience with dogs or animals in general, it’s probably a good idea to start small and adopt a breed that is easy to handle. Nevertheless, if you’ve ended up with an aggressive or temperamental dog, here is how you can control and train your furry friend….
Learn What Kind of Aggression Your Dog is Exhibiting
Not all aggression is the same. Dogs can exhibit aggression for an array of reasons. They could be aggressive because they’ve experienced traumatic experiences, they could be suffering from a lack of socialization, and they could have a history of being denied basic necessities such as comfort or food.
Not only this but they could be manifesting their aggression because they are experiencing pain, feeling defensive, territorial, possessive, protective or even fearful. When training an aggressive dog, it’s important to learn why they are acting this way and what triggers them to act this way.
Never Ignore Their Aggression
When you’re training a problematic or temperamental dog, consistency is key. If you notice aggression but you don’t give it much importance, or it hasn’t directly affected you, you are letting your dog understand that this reaction is acceptable. Make sure to correct every slight aggression your dog exhibits.
If you see your dog becoming aggressive or defensive with another pet walking by, take the necessary steps to reduce their behaviour and calm them down. If not, the two dogs could end up fighting and you could have a nasty accident on your hands. Contrastingly, if your dog exhibits some type of aggression without reason, it could be a sign that you are in danger.
Reward Good Behaviour
Dogs should always be rewarded for good conduct as this is how they learn to repeat desired behaviours. Positive reinforcement is the most powerful tool at your disposal when it comes to training dogs and shaping their behaviour. Giving your dog a reward will encourage it to repeat the action and associate this behaviour with a treat.
A reward doesn’t have to involve food or treats. It can be anything that your pet finds rewarding. It can even be toys or simply a well-deserved praise. It’s worth noting that your response should be immediate. Dogs won’t understand that they are being encouraged for that specific action if you decide to reward them half an hour later.
Don’t Punish Bad Behaviour
Just how you should reward good behaviour, you shouldn’t really punish your dog for bad behaviour, when we talk about punishment, we mean things like yelling or hitting. This kind of punishment is a form of aggression, and it won’t be very useful. Instead, you need to exhibit authority and show your dog that you are the leader of the pack.
Take The Necessary Safety Precautions
If you know that you have an aggressive dog, it’s important you take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of those around you as well as of the dog itself. For example, you can invest in heavy duty leashes, collars, and basket muzzles. Less obvious precautions include high garden fences and secure gates.
When you encounter an aggressive and unpredictable dog, you need to know what to do. Don’t scream or yell at the dog, as this could prompt him to attack. Instead, speak in a soothing tone whilst you slowly back away without making direct eye contact. Dog bites can be extremely dangerous and painful so it’s important to avoid this at all costs.
Seek Help from a Specialist Trainer
If you still can’t manage to get your dog under control, you must seek help from a specialist trainer. These programs can help teach you how to control and manage an aggressive dog.
Nevertheless, even once your dog returns fully trained, you need to exert dominance and show your pet that you are the boss. If you don’t follow the specialist’s orders and advice, all the training will be for nothing.
Before you bring a dog into your life make sure that you are ready for the responsibility this entails. It may be very easy to adopt and handle a puppy, but you need to take into account that many dogs can grow into strong and powerful adults. Animals are not birthday or Christmas presents, they are life-long commitments and therefore they should be treated as such.