Teaching an Aggressive Dog to Socialize | Whole Dog Journal
Whether your concern is due to the other dog's appearance or to its owner's to train your dog to respond appropriately to another dog is to set up meet and. Dog walks are great opportunities for your four-legged friend to see and possibly meet other dogs and people, as well as practice proper behavior when out and. Introducing dogs to each other can be stressful, but it need not be. If your dog is accustomed to meeting dogs at a pet supply store like PetSmart or Petco, hiring a certified professional dog trainer or behavior consultant to teach you how to.
If the other dog is threatening or if your own dog doesn't like other dogs, a dog fight could ensue, and the situation can become downright dangerous.
Like most owners of antisocial dogs, Thea McCue of Austin, Texas, is well aware of how quickly an outdoor activity with her dog can stop being fun. Wurley, her month-old Lab mix, is a happy, energetic dog who loves to swim and go running on the hike-bike trails around their home. Because Wurley is 22 inches tall and weighs 60 pounds, he can be hard to handle, says McCue.
If, like Wurley, your dog is reactive to other dogs, you are far from alone. In fact, dog-on-dog aggression is one of the most common behavior problems that owners, breeders, trainers, shelter staff, and rescue volunteers must deal with. So what to do with an aggressive dog? When Goldie sees another dog, she goes nuts, growling and barking. If another dog approaches, she attacks. The major reason why dogs become aggressive toward other dogs, says Dr.
Ian Dunbar, founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers APDTis that during their puppyhood, dogs are often deprived of adequate socialization with other good-natured dogs.
Regular contact with playmates is necessary for dogs to develop social confidence.
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If puppies miss out on these positive socialization experiences, they are more at risk of developing fear-based provocative behaviors. Because dogs that show aggressive tendencies tend to be kept more isolated than their socially savvy counterparts, their anti-social behavior usually tends to intensify as they get older.
How to Train an Aggressive Dog Fortunately, there is a way out of this dilemma.
Operant conditioning is also used to teach the dog that his own actions can earn positive reinforcement in the form of treats, praise, and play. Both types of conditioning attempt to change the underlying emotional that leads to aggression in dogs, rather than just suppressing the outward symptoms. When the dog appears, the trainer feeds Goldie a steady stream of delicious treats.
In fact, this sort of punishment sometimes exacerbates the problem by sending the wrong message to the dog; he learns that proximity to other dogs brings about punishment from the owner! Teaching him to anticipate scolding whenever another dog is nearby is not how to calm an aggressive dog. Punishment results in additional negative side effects. A dog who has been punished, just like a person who has been physically or verbally rebuked, usually experiences physiological stress reactions that make it harder for him to calm down.
Also, when a dog growls at other dogs or shows signs of unease and is punished, the dog may simply learn to suppress his growling and visual signals of discomfort ; the result can be a dog that suddenly strikes out with no warning.
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These are some of the reasons that behaviorists like Dunbar and Donaldson now believe that it is absolutely necessary to eliminate all punishment and reprimands when dealing with a dog who is aggressive to other dogs. Training an Aggressive Dog: The basic premise is that the dog must respond to an obedience cue in order to earn every right, freedom, and privilege.
These include meals, treats, toys, play, games, walks, and even attention and petting. The goal is to teach the dog to appreciate his owner as the provider of all good things in his life.
His behavior is then modified through a planned program of: Eventually, the dog can even be trained to offer this behavior automatically upon sighting another dog.
- How to socialize an adult dog
This same technique can work on fearful dogs. Make a list of items, words, and expressions that hold happy meanings for your dog and use them to help elicit mood changes.
Aggressive Dog Training and Socialization
This is a great place to stop the first session. Skeptics may ask whether giving treats to a dog whose behavior is still far from angelic does not actually reward bad behavior. But behaviorists explain that the classical conditioning effect — creating a strong positive association with other dogs — is so powerful that it overrides any possible reinforcement of undesirable behavior that may initially occur.
Understanding the limits is key to encouraging good behavior. Depending on the individuals, this initial greeting can range from a quick sniff of the muzzle to a prolonged, almost forensic examination of all interesting body areas.
You may notice that two dogs perform a little sniff ritual when meeting. This is fine, provided neither dog is uncomfortable.
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Other Natural Actions Play posturing is quite natural when dogs meet, too. One dog may bow to or chase the other to instigate play.How to Introduce your Puppy to Other Dogs
Depending on his mood, the other dog may enthusiastically accept the invite or simply ignore it. Both are fine, and your dog will most likely respond accordingly. A high-pitched playful growl, accompanied by a waggy tail to initiate play, is fine. A deep, threatening growl is not. If either dog does this, walk your dog away. Demeanor Dogs are typically alert, intrigued and a little cautious when they first meet other dogs.