Training Aggressive Dogs

Let me start off by saying that training aggressive dogs can and probably will be quite challenging for you. Even though it may be difficult, it is doable.

Proper training of aggressive dogs is of the utmost importance both for the dog AND for the people and other animals that he will come in contact with throughout his life.

Some owners realize that their dog is aggressive but think that the behavior will self-correct. This rarely, if ever, happens.

Others put off dealing with the problem because they are afraid that the only choice will be getting rid of their pet or having him put down. The fact is that many aggressive dogs can be trained to the point that the owner will be able to keep him.

The Cause

Some pet owners may never be able to understand the reason for their dog’s aggression. If they can, however, that information can go a long way in helping to train the dog.

Possible causes of dog aggression include fear, dominance, an attempt to protect their territory or a medical condition.

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If your dog has become aggressive suddenly, you should rule out a medical reason. Dogs that are sick or in pain may exhibit signs of aggression even if they never have been aggressive in the past.

If a medical cause is behind the aggression, taking care of that may be all that is required to eliminate this aggressive dog behavior.

The Training Of Aggressive Dogs

Unless you are a professional dog trainer, you should not attempt to train an aggressive dog on your own. Mistakes that you could make could do more harm than good and may actually make the situation worse.

Instead, enlist the help of a trainer who is experienced working with aggressive dogs. This is not the same as attending an obedience class.

Instead, when dealing with an aggressive dog, you must hire a trainer to come to your home and work one on one with you and your pet.

Aggression is not usually something that can be addressed in one meeting. Instead, you will probably need to work with the trainer over the course of several weeks, or even months.

This will be a bit expensive, but it may be the only way that you will be able to safely keep your pet. If cost is an issue, contact your local SPCA.

Many chapters have professional trainers that will work with people who are trying to keep their pets rather than having to turn them in. These trainers often offer their services at greatly reduced prices.

The Precautions With Training Aggressive Dogs

The very first time that your dog exhibits any signs of aggression, including growling, baring his teeth or snapping, you MUST immediately take precautions to ensure that the dog does not harm any person or animal.

Many pet owners live with regret because they ignored the initial signs of aggression and that resulted in their dog harming or killing another of their pets or biting a person.

These situations can almost always be avoided if proper precautions are taken. Below are some precautions you should take.

• Never leave your dog alone with another animal or a child.
• Muzzle your dog when you take him in public.
• Avoid taking your dog to places that will get him excited, such as a dog park.

The most important advice about training aggressive dogs is that you get the training started as soon as possible. Again, ignoring the problem will not make it go away.

The longer the aggression is left unchecked, the worse it may become and your chances of being able to train your dog and keep him in your family will be diminished. As I said at the outset of this article, it may be difficult but it is doable.

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