Recently I've been dealing with more aggression cases.
The attached picture explains some common misconceptions that can actually INCREASE aggressive behaviour in dogs rather than decrease them.
If you have dog that you think is moving towards the aggressive end of the spectrum, or you have a dog that you want to prevent from becoming aggressive, the attached checklist and explanations are an excellent starting point.
If at any time you feel it is getting to much for you to handle, please get in touch and we can look at turning things around to reduce potential aggression and teach you and your dog better ways of coping with situations where it doesn't end in escalation.I threw this short list together based on the recent string of cases that I have been working over the last few months where these factors were involved. These are all very common contributing factors that can set dogs up for failure or result in an aggressive response.
So what can pet owners do instead?!
1. Don’t take a puppy who is fearful or shy around other dogs to the dog park. It’s kind of like taking a shy librarian to a biker bar. An alternative would be to pair the dog with suitable, social playmates that can gently bring out play (preferably under the guidance of a professional and preferably one-on-one).
2. Don’t chase a dog who just stole something. Doing so can inadvertently “add value” to the item, and cause the dog to use aggression to “keep the highly coveted object.” Swiping the object out of the dog’s mouth and punishing them can make them more defensive. Instead, manage the items so the dog can’t practice stealing them; teach the dog to bring those items to you for tasty treats (retrieve) in the event they get a hold of them; and teach the dog to voluntarily leave the items alone in the first place. If they get a hold of something dangerous (pill bottle, kitchen knife, your Uncle’s pot brownies), then it’s understandable to dive in and risk getting bitten. But if you do preventative training, you significantly reduce the potential for a bite.
3. Tight leashes are awfully restrictive. They can add frustration, remove flight options, and create confrontational body postures. While I’m not a fan of on-leash greetings, they will happen in life, so keeping the leash loose (and the greetings really short) will help to prevent problems from occurring.
4. The last time the waiter tried to take my plate away when there were a few fries still left on it, I almost took his hand off. Taking a dog’s food or toys away while they are enjoying them is quite similar. Instead, dropping higher value treats nearby on occasion will work in the same fashion as the waiter popping the hot fudge sundae right next to my plate of fries.
5. Guess who gets bitten the most? That’s right - kids! Kids can do awfully weird things to dogs sometimes, so it is vital we supervise them and teach them how to properly interact with dogs. FamilyPaws.com, LivingWithKidsAndDogs.com, and The FamilyDog.com all are chock full of information on how to keep kids safe!
DISCLAIMER: If your dog is already displaying aggressive behaviors in these contexts, seek out the guidance of a professional who is experienced in aggression cases using positive reinforcement, desensitization and counterconditioning, or differential reinforcement. (Those are the keywords you can use to look for the right pro!) #aggressionindogs #dogtraining #dogsandkids #dogsafety #veterinarian ... See MoreSee Less