The escalating behavior between dogs can be frightening for all who are involved. It could be anything from a minor display of aggression, to a full on bite.
Reactive and aggressive dogs can be tamed. It takes patience and time. Find a trainer who uses positive reinforcement with dogs as well as their owners.
Find a trainer who is certified
A lot of dog owners suffer from issues with aggression. Inadequately handled aggression can result in serious injuries to both dogs and people. In the worst cases the bite of a dog could cause the animal to be sent back to a shelter or even to an department of animal control for euthanasia. There is good news that aggression is treatable. Aggression often stems from fear and anxiety, but it may also be genetically connected or triggered by a negative experience in the past.
A qualified dog trainer can help you overcome the dog’s anxiety and fears by addressing these issues. Ask about their training methods as well as look for references and certificates when searching for a dog trainer in your area. While anyone is able to create business cards, it’s essential to choose a trainer who adheres to the ethics guidelines of their certifying body and does not use abrasive methods of training.
It is equally important to choose a trainer who is familiar with working with dogs that exhibit aggression. They’ll have experience working with dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior and can give you insight into the dog’s mind. You’ll get advice on whether or not your dog is best treated with medication, or if he would be better off seeing a veterinarian behavior specialist (DACVB). DACVBs are experts in animal behavior and are basically veterinarians. Many owners of doggies that are aggressive regret not seeing one sooner when they realize the improvements that these experts can make to their dog’s behavior.
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Some trainers rely on methods of training based on dominance that include issuing “corrections” such as putting your dog back in an alpha roll, holding the collar of their dog to prevent the dog from biting or barking, and using electronic collars that vibrate or static. These methods can initially help your dog become more loyal however they can also result in anxiety and fear which, in turn, can cause aggression.
A dog’s training program that is online and aggressive that is effective will aid in building bonds with your pet so they can obey you when they’re excited, afraid or anxious. It is crucial to practice this with dogs with aggressive behaviors as they will be more likely to be violently reactive to triggers.
A skilled trainer can help if your dog is insecure, or feels like it has to protect the family or home. Participating in a class for obedience or working one-on-one with a skilled trainer will assist your dog in becoming 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 towards other dogs and people, resource guarding and separation anxiety. Stephen Baum, the owner is a highly trained trainer with extensive certification expertise. He also has worked at Rescue Dogs Rock, NYC where he worked with rescue dogs who were difficult to identify.