Dog aggression can be extremely scary for everyone who is involved. From a slight show of anger or a snarl to a full-on bite, it can cause harm to people, other dogs, or even your pet.

You can train reactive and aggressive dogs. It takes time and patience. Find a dog trainer who uses positive reinforcement for both the dog and its owner.

Find a trainer who is certified

A lot of dog owners suffer from an issue with aggression. If not addressed, aggression can cause serious injuries to both dogs and people. In severe instances, a dog’s bite could lead to the animal being returned to a shelter, or even to the animal control department to be killed. There is good news that aggressive behavior can be treated. It is often a result of anxiety and fear, however it may also be genetically connected or result from a negative previous experience.

A good dog trainer will help you overcome your dog’s anxieties and fears by addressing these concerns. Ask about their training methods and seek out references and credentials when looking for a dog trainer in your region. While anyone is able to print business cards, it is important to find a certified trainer who adheres to the ethics guidelines of their certification body and avoids using aversive methods of training.

It is also important to choose a trainer who has experience working with dogs who exhibit aggression. They’ll have experience working dealing with dogs that have aggressive behaviors and provide insight into the dog’s thoughts. They can provide you with some suggestions on whether your dog requires medication or might be able to benefit from seeing a vet behavior specialist (DACVB). DACVBs are vets that specialize in animal behavior and many owners of dog aggression regret not seeing one sooner because they can see the vast changes these specialists can make in their dog’s behavior.

Look for Online Dog Training Classes

Some trainers rely on dominance-based methods for training that include imposing “corrections” such as putting your dog on their backs in an alpha roll, holding them by the collar to prevent the dog from biting or barking, and using electronic static collars or vibrating collars. These methods can initially make your dog more obedient but they often result in anxiety and fear which can lead to an increase in aggression.

The best online dog training will be focused on helping you establish a stronger relationship with your pet to ensure that they obey you regardless of whether they are excited, scared or stressed. It is important to practice this with pets with aggressive behaviour since they are more likely to be violently reactive when they are provoked.

Many people find that their aggressive dogs are insecure or feel like they are required to guard their family or home, that can be handled by a skilled trainer. Involving your dog in a group obedience class or working one-on-one with a skilled trainer will aid your dog to become more confident and reduce their aggression towards other dogs.

Urban K9, a highly reviewed NYC training center, provides behavior modification and obedience training to address leash reactivity and aggression toward other dogs or people, resource guarding and separation anxiety. Owner Stephen Baum has extensive credentials and experience in training, including e-collar training, and has worked hard to find the dogs in rescue at Rescue Dogs Rock in NYC.