According to the Humane Society of the United States, over 62% of American households have at least one pet; that translates to approximately 164 million pets in the United States. Of course, despite what cat lovers will tell you, dogs are the most popular pet to keep, with over 83 million Americans having at least one in their homes.
Our canine companions quickly become our best friends. They’re there when we’re sad, when we’ve had a bad day at work, or when we really just need a friend to sit with us. That’s why a dog that shows behavioral issues to visitors and other members of the family can be such a heartache. While many puppy obedience training tips can help you avoid these issues early, some won’t be enough to help you avoid an aggressive dog. If you feel like you’re running out of options and you’re considering giving up your aggressive pooch, why not give it one more try with these tips on training an aggressive dog?
What Makes Dogs Aggressive?
As Cesar’s Way, the dog training website for dog whisperer Cesar Milan, points out in its dog training tips, the first step in training an aggressive dog has to be understanding why your dog is acting aggressive. Nine times out of 10, your dog is not naturally aggressive. Instead, lack of training or lack of a strong “Alpha” presence in its human masters makes the dog feel insecure, resulting in aggression. These are both things our tips will help you address.
Four Tips on Training an Aggressive Dog
- Talk to Your Veterinarian
- Consider a Professional Trainer
- Put Your Foot Down
- Positive Reinforcement
The ASPCA suggests that many dogs act aggressive because they’re sick, injured, or simply stressed out. By visiting your veterinarian and having your dog undergo some tests, you can discover if there is a deeper, health-based cause to the way they’re acting. In many cases, your veterinarian can fix the issue with treatment.
Sometimes our dogs, like their masters, are far too set in their ways for any untrained individual to change their behavior. Dog training classes with professionals can help to completely change your dog’s less than friendly behavior. If you need a recommendation for a professional specializing in dog training for aggressive dogs, just ask your veterinary professional.
You’d be amazed how much aggression is caused by an owner without a spine. If your dog is doing something it shouldn’t be, you need to show them it’s not okay. You should never strike your dog as a way of getting your point across. Instead, remove your dog from the room until they calm down. They’ll learn very quickly that one thing leads to the other.
For the Whole Dog Journal, there is no better way to condition your dog than positive reinforcement. Start tying a treat or a “good girl” and a pat on the head to good behavior, completely refusing those things when your chihuahua is misbehaving. If they realize there is a reward involved, that may be all it takes to get them to relax.
Having a dog that just won’t behave can be heartbreaking. If you’re at your wits end, don’t give up just yet. Put these tips on training an aggressive dog to use and you might be able to avoid the nightmare of giving up your best friend. Links like this.