3 Techniques To Calm Dog Aggression

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I really love this collection of articles I found from ClickerSolutions recently, and thought I’d point you in the direction of one particularly good article on dog aggression.

You can read it here:
http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2002b/aggression.htm

It’s a guest article from Karen Pryor on three techniques she’s used to help calm dog aggression while traveling around at all the seminars she holds, and teaching dog trainers.

In her events she, a high percentage of her audience has dogs, so she’s always using her audiences dogs to help teach things.

Invariably, this means she runs into dogs with issues, and has developed an interesting perspective on how to handle and address those issues on the fly.

It’s a great little article and worth a quick read.

As you read the article, pay attention to some of the things that she doesn’t go into great detail about, but are still crucial… for example, Replacement Behaviors are often a very good way to help overcome dog aggression issues.  And Karen makes lots of little comments that show how she’s always thinking of what the dog wants out of an interaction with something, and then creating a compromise that allows a dog to still fill the satisfaction of feeling something out, but in an acceptable behavior.

Interesting stuff!

There are 75 Comments

  1. Oskar says:

    My question, is it possible if you treat your dog very good, he becomes very protective and let nobody come close to you. I have a 2 year old Rottweiler and he is very protective. I mean in some circumstance its okay but I like it more if he is not so protective. How can I change this behavior.

    [Reply]

    Monica Reply:

    Its never good to let your dog become the alfa or ‘protector’. You should always BE top dog. There will be no agression when your dogs knows YOUR in charge. :)

    [Reply]

    Heidi Reply:

    Sorry Monica, but that’s bull. Rottweilers have a heightened protective instinct and are very territorial. It doesn’t matter if you’re the “alpha” which is actually irrelevant to this issue. Oskar, you’ll need a few people to help you that your dog doesn’t know. Have them approach you and your dog. As soon as you notice him getting tense (watch the back legs – spread apart, stiff and straight)or lowering his head or ears, immediately command him to sit and give him a treat. the goal is to get his focus off the person approaching. Then have the friend approach and offer the dog a second treat while the dog is still eating the first one, if possible. Use something the dog absolutely loves. (Freeze dried liver usualy works great!) Do this a few times and the dog will welcome that person’s approach. If you do this with several people, the aggression will vanish.

    [Reply]

  2. Thomas says:

    I seem to also have the same problem… Just recently my 1 year old Lab/New Founlander just started to become way over protective of the yard and is growling and barking at anyone who walks by. It has gotten so bad that, while staying at a friends house (a training partner) she would not let him out of his car. I need some drastic help.. I she is a very obedient dog in most cases and have been trying to keep her in side when she starts to bark. AS i don’t want my neighbors to feel frightened
    PLEASE HELP

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would keep him on a leash or in a secured area at all times.

    Read this article http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/time-seek-professional-dog-training-aggression/

    [Reply]

  3. mary says:

    i have a similar problem i have a 2 yr old sheltie,corky ,yorkie chichiuaua mix. he’s likes to bite or nip at people he doesn’t know very well. we have him in obedience training now for this but it has happened there also with the trainer.he is doing ok there it has been going there about 10 weeks we can’t take him every week for its 2 hours away. he is getting better but we need to break this habit soon it is starting too get out of controlcan u help us with this

    [Reply]

  4. Philippa says:

    my 6 mnth old miniature pinscher has always been weaarly of bigger dogs seeming he is so little. but now when ever another dog tries to smell his bum he freaks out and charges at him. he has 3 friends that he allows to get close to him but other dogs is a no go. he is currently in dog obedience classes and is getting smarter but no progress on the dog aggression/fear. is there anything i can do? ive tried to introduce him to other dogs but many dogs at the dog park are unstable and too hyper when im trying to teach my dog that they are ok? help please! willing to try anything.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Not all dogs are social. Instead of trying to force him to be social and making him more aggressive, I would concentrate on having him ignore other dogs and give you focus.

    Out of 4 dogs, only one of mine likes the dog park, the other two tolerate dogs and I think my puppy will be dog aggressive if I am not careful.

    I teach them all to tolerate dogs and walk past them with no problem but they give me their focus and eye contact. I would never trust them to “play” with other dogs…that is just who they are.

    It is really hard to have control when dogs play together so if they don’t like other dogs immensely then I avoid the situation.

    Stay in dog class and keep taking classes until he doesn’t care or pay attention to any other dog in the class.

    I recently took a class with my female dog. If you could ask her how many dogs were in her class and what kind (if she could answer) she wouldn’t know because she looked at me the whole time throughout class! That is what you should aim for!

    [Reply]

  5. Julie says:

    Our 6-month-old pitbull mix scares me when he’s trying to get on my bed, I put him down, he gets back up, I put him down again, then he barks loudly. It’s really scary because I’m afraid he’ll bite me. What can I do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Keep him on a leash and shut your bedroom door if he is possessive about your bed!

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Thanks. I’ve been shutting my bedroom door, but he’s ripped up the carpet by the door and scratched the door. He’s also ripped off the screen door to the patio and started tearing out the weather stripping on the door itself. I know he’s still a puppy and doesn’t like being alone, but I’m afraid he’s going to tear down the house before he settles down. I’m a total novice at having a dog and really need any recommendations to help him calm down.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Those are all the reasons I like crate training!! A crate is crucial and so is exercise to make them too tired to get into trouble.

    Melinda Reply:

    Stop putting you dog on the floor. He won’t learn that way. You must make him jump off. Don’t force him or even touch him. If he is in the middle of bed facing you walk up to him on the right or left hand side toward the back end of him. If you go to the right extend you right arm up and to the side. Get his attention and tell him off “Puppy! Off!”
    If this fails you must use a leash. But again, don’t force. Put the leash on him and tell him “Let’s go!” once he is off the bed give him plenty of praise and treats.

  6. Avaneet says:

    hi i have a 5 months old pomeriarian female.she is obedient in all cases but not at all socialised with the people.she barks like anything when ever sees anyone around.pleas ehelp me

    [Reply]

  7. Lois says:

    What about leash aggression? My dog generally gets along with other dogs at home, the dog park…but when I have him on leash for walks, he goes ballistic as soon as he sees other dogs . I can usually get him to sit and get him to calm down as long as the other dog doesn’t approach or respond. I just can’t get him tostop reacting. He is never aggressive with people.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would recommend a gentle leader while you walk to give you more control. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/utilize-gentle-leader-similar-head-halters-dog-training/

    [Reply]

  8. Adele ;-) says:

    Good day

    Hope you are well !! I love your site …………………………..
    I live in South Africa, i need your help plz i have a Husky / labrador crossing, that stays at home with my mom, i got her for Christmas a few years back, she is 4 years old, she is a spoilt, passionate, energetic, loving, playfull with a very strong personality, BUT she has an evil side to those adorable eyes she is dominating, undermining, extremely jelous, aggressive, the other dog a chow crossing, mustnt get more attention even if he comes near me or any other one where she is around she will bite him, she is possesive over her food at times, she doesnt like babies or children she pinches them with her front teeth or bites them and even if you are an adult she doesnt let you in or out without a bruise. She jumps on you and pinches you and bites your legs and feet. i am pregnant and she is more protective over me now , i love her alot, but i am concerned that when the baby comes she will bite her aswell , i read all about dog aggression and made a summary i can identity where it started and where it comes from it was very informative but i want to know how do i treat it now, is she too old, and i would rather seek other means of help or training than to send her to doggy heaven or give her to the spca where they would put her to sleep anyways.

    Kind Regards

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    With this kind of aggression and biting, I cannot diagnose over the computer. You need to find a veterinary behaviorist near you that can help and come out and see the behavior.

    [Reply]

  9. greg says:

    i have a 11 month old lab /shephard mix, got him from a family that didn’t have time for him, no training or nothing. so i got him, got all of his shots.
    i takr him for walks, and anything he sees he wants to chase it. he will bark and growl at strangers or other dogs. i am trying to get him socialized with others. i took him to a registerd dog trainer class to see how he would act towards others.but he wants to bite them or growls at them.so she said the trainer it would be better for private lessons then inter act with others.
    maybe 3 or 4 private lessons and then try to get him to be with other dogs. we have a pomeraian and he plays with her, but he plays to ruff.always nipping at her legs. its funny , when i went to pick him up from the other owners he didn’t even growl at me or try to bite me. he took me with open arms. he seems to sense other people. so how can i get him to be a better dog and with others.he loves to play , but when see other dogs or people he goes nuts. any help

    [Reply]

  10. crystal says:

    Took on a 2.5 year old boxer mix from a friend. He was great when we transferred. She had him for 1.5 years and had no problems with him with visitors, her kids, other dogs, etc. Kept him indoors mostly. She was moving and couldn’t take him so I saved him fromt he shelter.

    He was great in our home for 2-3 weeks aggression wise, including towards strangers and other kids.
    However about that 3 week mark my mom came to visit and the aggression started. 2x she has been at the house and he has aggressively barked and jumped on her if he got out.
    We had a big problem for a while because he was breaking out of the crates (a metal one as well as a airline carrier one), but currently its rigged.
    The problem has now become that at home he is great with our family. In public he is pretty good. But if anyone comes to our house or walks by, he growls, barks, and attempts to jump all over them very aggressively that I’m so scared he is goingn to seriously hurt someone.
    Nobody comes to my house anymore, including my parents who babysit, to avoid the dog.
    We want to avoid the shelter but are almost to the point we don’t know what to do or how to fix this aggression.

    [Reply]

    Cathleen Miller Reply:

    My Bichon was the same way with my husband whenever he came home or if he comes near me. I finally realized he was just protecting me from the unknown so I had my husband start saying “Hi Jean-Paul” the minute he had his hand on the door or the key in the door. He then became happy and sat and waited which he had been previously trained to do. I still have a problem with anyone handing me things he will take it right out of their hands. I cannot always have a treat ready. I’m finding just having the people recognize him is working well. Having your guests or anyone he jumps on should be asked to keep their hands behind their backs and command sit. Then they can reach to pet him. Keep a bowl of treats at the door that the guest can use as a reward.

    [Reply]

  11. ray kamer says:

    when i take my gm in crate in back of pickup, he barks at everthing hostile like, not mean at all but wiill think he is.what can i try so wont be so aggrisvive in crate in back of truck going down the road

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    He is probably severely overstimulated. Try bringing him in with you or covering the crate so he can’t see out.

    [Reply]

    ray kamer Reply:

    he rides inside truck fine, but will try covering crate in back. thanks love your program, has helped my german sheperd alot long way to go yet though almost 1 yr old ,alot of people impressed with how he is coming along.

    [Reply]

  12. Connie says:

    I have a problem with my 1 1/2 yr. old Teddy Bear, she always pulls and growls when I put her leash on to go out.She loves it outside, but she thinks it’s a game when I try to put on her leash-she pulls and growls everytime, why?

    [Reply]

  13. charles says:

    Hi

    I have a one year old Boerbul. He is fantastic except i dont know how to stop him from jumping on people and begging for food. Please any ideas

    [Reply]

    gene selner Reply:

    Charles, do the following
    Teach your dog to sit
    never allow your dog excess leash/freedom
    do not allow your dog approach any object out of control
    Training is the key be consistenant never give up
    You may need to find a good obedience training school/ club
    your dog needs to understand you’r alpha

    To stop begging ignore your dog

    [Reply]

  14. June says:

    Hi, I have a sweet little girl, her mum is a toy poodle, her dad a maltese. We chose her because the breeder has a reputation for good natured dogs. She’s now 4 months old, my husband bent down to pick her up from her bed for a cuddle, & she growled at him.
    What is the correct way to handle this situation?

    [Reply]

  15. jacinta says:

    hi, I took on a german shephard pup at 7months. she was reared in an out door run with other dogs. She is now 15 months old, great with me, wonderful in the house, housetrained and friendly. The problem is that she will not let strangers in, and I am afraid that she will eventually bite if I fail to retrain her. Can you advise?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put her on a leash so that she can’t get to people when they come in and bite.

    Sign up for our puppy programming course it has basic through some very advanced obedience. http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming

    And, then take her to a dog obedience class so she can see people in a controlled environment. She will already know the obedience portion so you can concentrate on having her give you eye contact and do obedience with distractions.

    But make sure she learns the obedience first, otherwise she will be too overwhelmed to learn and it will make her behaviors and possible fears worse!

    If she is very aggressive, I would contact a veterinary behaviorist for help so they can see the behavior and put you on a specific behavior modification program.

    Without seeing her I can only tell you to keep her on a leash and keep her from biting or interacting with people. Rewards should come from you for attention and obedience and treats can be tossed to her feet but you shouldn’t give her the opportunity to bite.

    [Reply]

  16. Melanie says:

    My brother just adopted a 4 year old spayed golden retriever. She is wonderful with humans, follows commands, and gets plenty of exercise. I have a 2 year old neutered Beagle/American Bulldog. We introduced them for the first time, and when she was distracted by playing with a ball or rope toy all is well. She has demonstrated a lot of staring, some growling, and twice has lunged to bite (once enough to cause my dog to squeal). My dog just freezes when she stares or blocks him, or turns to avoid her. He is a very social dog, getting along with everyone at the dog park or doggy daycare. What are some methods for eliminating the dog-dog aggression and encouraging a positive relationship.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She needs to be kept on a leash and taught control!!

    Not all dogs want to play and she may have had some negative reaction to a male dog at some point.

    Don’t let her ruin your dog for the dog park. Put her on a leash and control her interaction; if she get better you can allow her to socialize at another point…. but if she doesn’t you keep your dog from being traumatized.

    [Reply]

  17. Robyn says:

    Hi

    Our dog Comet is a maltese shih tzu cross and is just over a year old.
    We love him and probably spoil him but have trouble giving him medication. He hates the worm pills and becomes very aggressive when we try to put them in his mouth so I bought some in paste form that u squeeze in his mouth.

    today my husband held him and we put on the flea treatment no problems. We always give him a treat in these cirumstance and use treats to reward good behaviour.

    When i tried to put the worm stuff in his mouth he became very agresive and nipped my husband and then bit me hard ripping a hole in my forefinger. It bled like crazy. My husband smacked him after it which we never do and then Comet hid from us. I know that wasn’t the best way to deal with it as we never smack him but i think my husband got a fright seeing our dog attack me like that. He was baring his teeth before the bites.

    I know he was acting in self defence as felt threaten by me touching his mouth and continuing to try and get the meds in after he bared his teeth and bit my husband.

    I am not sure how to fix this. He has done this a few times now and became aggressive when i tried a muzzle on him once and tried to bite us.

    Its like he turns from the lovely excitable dog he is to agressive and biting in about 3 seconds and it worries me that he attacked me.

    We are having our daughter and granddaughter to stay with us soon when they return from over seas and our grand daughter is 3. I am really worried she may accidentally do something and get badly bitten.

    We love our dog. He also has become aggressive if we accidentally stand on him or go to sit where he is sitting ( he likes to sneak into our seats when we stand for a moment and don’t see him ( ie standing andgrabbing remote for tv and sitting back down).

    He is spoilt ( our fault of course but he is so adorable lol) but we need to find a way to curb this aggression quick and a way to give him his meds.

    Any help greatefully received.

    btw he is my husbands dog. I live away from home during the week and return home in weekends but he is attentive to me as well.

    In fact he was so distressed over what happened after getting a smack and me yelling at him ( shock on my part) that he hid under table and then ran to the car when I was going and wanted to come back to flat with me ( which he never does)He was so upset that his dad has smacked him.nLater his dad played frisbee with him so he has settled down again and is happy.

    How should we have handled the aggression and what do we do from now on to fix this.

    Robyn

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    The problem is you spoil him, he has no need to work for you or to put up with you doing annoying things to you. He feels like a King. It is like you are worshiping him just because he is him and he is cute, so why would he listen to you when you ask him to do something he doesn’t want to do?

    He threatens to bite or bites and you stop, so he has learned that this behavior works.

    You need to change your relationship and this will be hard for all of you.

    But I too, worry about your granddaughter!! At three she is very likely to do things the dog doesn’t like and because he is spoiled and gets what he wants and he is use to using his teeth to intimidate you he is going to do the same with her… but this is going to result in severe repercussions.

    You need to seek the help of a veterinary behaviorist to come out and see the dog, his behavior, and put you all on a behavior modification program.

    I can’t see him, so I can’t diagnose him or give you a specific plan.

    REad this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/time-seek-professional-dog-training-aggression/

    [Reply]

  18. Gill says:

    Hi,
    I have two border collies/coolie cross male pups – now 12 months old. They are brothers and have had identical upbringing, love and attention. They are indoor/outdoor dogs. Both dogs love the family members and get so excited when my sons come to visit. However – with strangers it is a different story.
    One is very easy going and happy to be patted by strangers. The other loves family members but is aggressive towards people he does not know. If approached when walking on the lead or on the chain (we live on a farm so dogs have to be chained up when outside to stop them chasing sheep)he will growl and if on the chain will jump out aggressively growling and barking with hackles raised. I am worried he would bite if he got within striking distance. I can walk him down the street and he is good as gold until someone says ‘what a lovely dog’ and approaches to pat him – or just to talk to me. When this happens I have firmly said ‘no’ and ‘sit’ but it is continuing behaviour.
    I am really worried this behaviour will get worse.How do I stop him being aggressive. Please help me.

    [Reply]

  19. Mark says:

    I have a 3 year old, 35 lb. pit-whippet mix. She is very friendly to people, children and smaller dogs. She has always been socialized with other dogs, but tends to be bossy. The problem is when she meets new, bigger dogs, she picks a fight with them. She usually ignores the little ones, but if they are her size or bigger, she tries to be dominate and gets aggressive. The biggest problem is she doesn’t back down and one day someone is going to get hurt.

    She is about half-way trained. She listen to me at times, but often ignores me. She doesn’t play “chase me around”, but she often just continues doing what she wants (usually sniffing something). If there is another dog coming, she looses focus and charges the other dog. I don’t believe there is any confusion that I’m the alpha dog, but I really need her to listen more and stop the aggressive behavior to other dogs.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks.

    [Reply]

  20. Nancy says:

    I have an almost two year old labradoodle. He is a ton of fun and usually very sweet. Except when men come to my home. He gets very aggressive towards them. He hides behind a table or some other piece of furniture and when the male walks by, he jumps on their back and tries to bite them. I have a husband and two grown sons who he adores. If a female comes into my home, he is nice as pie. Also, he loves children. Just not men which I cannot understand because we have three men in and out of our house all the time. Not sure why he does not like men and what I can do about his aggression towards them.

    [Reply]

  21. Renee says:

    I need help with one problem area with my pup. I have a Bichon and she is great with everyone except children. For some reason she does not like kids. She wants to nip at them and all they want to do is play with her. I do not understand why it is just kids. Help help. How do I stop this so they can pet her. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    [Reply]

  22. dan says:

    Just moved to a new place, a cottage next to (their master’s/landlord’s) main house. and there are 5 dogs who obviously attack every one they don’t know. I am here for a week now and even though the dogs have seen me being friends with their master several times, they will still attack me when he is not with me. When he is not on the compound, they even wait in front of my door of the guest house and wait for me. For 2 days I couldn’t leave the house because of that. I fear them and they know it and just wait for me to come out of the door. Nor their master/my landlord has left for a while and I am locked inside.
    I am new to the place and don’t know anyone here or have phone numbers.
    What is the way to teach them that I am not a threat to them?
    My family always had dogs and I thought I am “experienced”. Well, apparently I am not.
    Those are big, powerful dogs. 5 crossbreeds of Rottweiler and South African Bullmastiff.
    I would appreciate any advice on how to make them calm down and accept me as a resident on their compound.

    Regards,
    Dan

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Their owner needs to work with you and the dogs on a leash and teach them manners.

    I would carry boiled chicken breast or something great so you can toss it and they associate you with food.

    However, I cannot see them and so I don’t know how in danger you are… I would consider finding a local veterinary behaviorist to come out and see the dogs and help you with more specific advice.

    [Reply]

  23. Sherri says:

    I have a silky terrier 8yr old… my daughter who visits us weekly brings her now 7 month old yorkie poo over to visit…& over the past few months my silky has been pooping in house at different times of day sometimes everyday several times some days not…recently pooped in my sons bed while he was sleeping also vomited…now he is pooping & urinating in my bedroom daily! So I started to cage him …I feel really bad…he also is pooping in the cage…. I also go to my daughter’s apt. daily to walk her yorkie poo….. I/m told this is because of the yorkie poo ….which he runs away from & sometimes growls at…he never has been a friendly type dog… I fear he is depressed & purposely marking my home…what do I do to stop this behavior??

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Dog’s don’t “revenge poop” however they do mark by pooping and peeing. Pooping inappropriately is another way of marking.

    I would crate train your dog and I would keep the 7 month old on a leash when he is in your house… it is unfair to feel like you are under attack at your own house.

    You mention he isn’t friendly and growls at the other dog; he may feel like his whole world has changed and may be fillled with anxiety. I would do my best to reduce his anxiety.

    [Reply]

  24. I have a 2yr old lab/pug and either GSD or husky mix. I know, what a combo. She has been aggressive since I got her at 8wks. She has never liked men. She baits them to put thier hand out and then goes after them. She is almost uncontrolable with other dogs that she does not know. Her litter-mate is also afraid of people, mostly men. He runs and hides. Most of the litter has already been put down to aggression.

    My dog is great with her kids (that’s any kid she is confortable with= some neighbor kids, cousins, fiends,etc.) She has always tried to put her mouth on everyone she likes. he doesn’t bite just holds. I have raised GSD and other breeds all my life. I have tried all sorts of training methods for months at a time intervals and to no avail. She has imporved some with age but I can’t seem to break the aggression with other dogs. She even goes after the dogs (just dogs) on tv. I know it could be fear biting as underlying cause but the techniques that I have tried have not worked. I walk this dog daily and we hike a lot.We also hike with a neighbor and her male dog. We live in mountains so there is plenty of quality time spent and energy burned. Although, she does have an enormous amout of energy, all the time. I have never had small dogs but have recently noticed, she has a quick trot like a pug/small dog. I is exhausting when we walkin our neighborhood since everyone walks thier dogs here. It is an all body workout for me. My dog wants to go after a lot of dogs and some(regulars) she is starting to ignore.

    She never chases after cats, since our old cat established his dominence from the begining and the younger ones were her playmates. MY dog was an only child for almost her 2 years (not counting the 2 legged ones). I recently got a GSD pup and she was a bit aggressive at first. Now, he shows his alpha side and she will stand down …sometimes. He is anything but aggressive most of the time.

    I know that she challenges me when it comes to controlling her on our walks when other dogs are around. I’m not sure what to do about that. I try making her sit. She has control words like, “not your business” or “out.” I’ve tried a traditional muzzle and her has torn them off literally with her paws and stratched her face up. I am worried that one day she will bite someone. She tried to bite a new neighbor when she tried to shake my hand. When another dog is near, she can’t hear or fights with leash or goes after another dog in our walk group. I’m a firm believer that there is a way to curb and control these problems, I just have to find the right one. I just need help. I don’t/wont put her down, that is not a solution. What do you suggest?

    [Reply]

  25. Ann says:

    I have a 5 month old puppy border jack and he Is
    Very aggressive with just about anything dog,
    Toys, and her crate although she will allow you
    petting her while feeding. She is trying to establish
    Alpha position with everybody in the family.
    She has bitten me twice already and I have
    done the alpha roll with her but doesn’t work. It makes
    Her more made and she never submits.
    I don’t know what to do … Looking for classes
    specifically for aggression issues but hard to
    find, obedience training (sit, stay, come commands)
    and puppy does that but is stubborn. I need help with
    establish being the leader of the pack. One more thing
    She pee submissive all of my siblings, weird that
    she does that only with them.
    Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  26. Galina says:

    How about cat agression.
    My 9 years old (rescue) mixed Black lab and Border colly dog does not want to accept a kitten into the family.
    The first day he was barking to fainting for 4 hours and we could not get him calm down or even approach him, that much he was “mad”. Gradually he has come down, but would chase the cat at the first sight. We tried several techniques, including tying Max and letting kitten free , separating them by the see-through barrier etc… I am worried what is going to happen to a kitty if Max gets him one day. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  27. Andrea says:

    My friend’s 2-year-old rescued mixed-breed dog (with a sad history) will allow new people to pet her and give her treats, acting relaxed and content, and then seriously attacks as soon as the person goes to move away. Same reaction after a person enters their home (she first goes crazy at the door, but my friend is working on claiming the space and making the dog retreat); she will calmly sniff them once given permission to approach, and then, in the blink of an eye, attacks as soon as the newcomer moves. My friend has to keep a leash on her and be VERY quick to react. I knew a very dominant Yorkie with the same disturbing behavior. Any advice on how to deal with this?

    [Reply]

  28. pat says:

    i have a 3 year old brown chicwowa who growls at the children and then runs and hides. how can i make her be more friendly to them

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dog-hates-kids/

    [Reply]

  29. Christie says:

    I have a 4 year old Yorkie who was recently diagnosed blind and a 2 and half year old German Sheppard. I need help these two will not stop attacking each other and I have run out of options but to get rid of either or. Is there anything I can do to calm the aggression between the two? Your help would mean the world to me.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You may need to keep them totally separate or find different homes. With aggression I can’t see the intricacies, but if you call a veterinary behaviorist they can help you

    [Reply]

  30. Ivoria Gerena says:

    Hello: I have an 18 month old female Maltipoo. I adore her. But she is driving me crazy lately. She walks around in circles in doors and it is NOT because she needs to go out. I noticed this behavior after I picked her up from the vet where she had been boarded over 8 days during my vacation. Why is she pacing??? Also, I call her name and she steps to the SIDE of me INSTEAD of in front of me. I say “no” and i then turn my back on her and then call her name again. I keep doing this routine until she gets it right and by that I mean that I call her and she sits in front of me. Why does she do this?

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  31. hello I hope someone can help me with my 14 month old doberman. when we go for our daily walk, if she sees a dog walking, she gets aggressive and bites the leash, and sometimes me. i have taken her to a trainer , all he said to do is nine her we were taught words in German, it does not work, she gets so focused on the other dog it is impossible to get her attention

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I recommend our aggression course, you can email Dana at customer service to find out when it will begin again

    [Reply]

  32. gary says:

    9 month old boxer. A big baby. Twice this has happened. There was a dead animal in the street and she found it and i made her get away and she be came very angry at me and tried to bite me. The second time she found an orange in the back yard and my daughter tried to talk it away from and got mean to her. Now any other time she has food or a bone you could take it away from her and nothing. When she eats you can do anything to her an she doesn’t mind. Just when she finds the food she gets mad.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I suggest our aggression program; contact Dana at customer service to find out when it will begin again or be put on a list to be notified when it starts info@thedogtrainingsecret.com

    [Reply]

  33. sharon says:

    Four month old german shepherd/lab mix has become rough when playing with much smaller shitzu/maltese. In the beginning when same size they played nicely, but now that she’s getting bigger she’s gotten very rough ..biting at ears/tail, pinning her down to floor, etc. Should I put her in crate when she starts to chase and wants to play with smaller dog? I fear she’d be in her crate all day long! What else could I do?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Put her on a leash and teach her good manners. Teach her when you say enough it is enough and if she wants to play she has to do so gently. Putting her in a crate is only going to wind her up more.

    A leash gives you control and you can teach her some manners and obedience.

    [Reply]

  34. Abigail says:

    My 4 year old rescued yorkshire terrier has recently become very aggressive when my younger sister comes upstairs, leading towards my bedroom. We have had him for 6 months now and besides this he is extremely well behaved and very good with people. It would break my heart to take him back to the shelter and I desperately need a solution to his violent behaviour.

    [Reply]

  35. Arundi Jayasekara says:

    My dog goes mad if she sees anyone in my family petting another dog.She used to have a lot of friends before we changed our residence and even played with them.But when a cousin visited with her CockerSpaniel,she became really aggressive and even tried to bite him.She was also aggressive with my aunt’s dogs,two spayed females.Even as a puppy, she didn’t surrender to other dogs and tries to fight them.
    She is also a bit protective .she protects me well when my sister tries to fight me.It is ok. She is never over protective.But I am a bit afraid that she will turn aggressive even to people.Usually she is very nice to people unless I dislike them,but I don’t know how she will treat people that she dislike.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Best to utilize a leash

    [Reply]

  36. Mia Smith says:

    I have a 1 year old Border collie/ golden retriever mix who I recently adopted. Over the past couple of days he has had huge aggression towards men when they come near him in my fiance and I’s apartment. He doesn’t have any problems with girls but he gets really aggressive towards guys. I don’t know if the previous owners did something to him to cause this but I need this problem fixed very soon or we wont be able to keep the dog in the apartment. Also when he is around another dog he will only want to play and doesn’t calm don unless I put a leash on him and force him to calm down.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You have a huge liability on your hands. The world is full of men. In order to keep the dog, I suggest you go to a veterinary behaviorist. It is going to cost several hundred dollars, probably. But is is cheaper than having the dog maul a man and then being sued. If you want to keep the dog contact your vet or find a veterinary college near and go to a vet that specializes in aggressive and dog behavior.

    [Reply]

  37. Julie says:

    I have a 12 year old terrier mix, Bailey, that is usually well behaved. He will bark at people when they come in but had never tried to attack anyone. About a month ago we had to move back in with my parents (who have 10 year old cocker spaniel that my dog gets along with). Bailey has started barking at and chasing after people that are visiting, it started with my nieces when they would run by him. It seems that he would chase people when they got up suddenly to hurry out of the room. Last week we had a friend come over and when he walked to the bathroom, which is next to my room, Bailey ran after him and bit at him (meaning he didn’t actually bite him but tried to) and tonight he did the same thing to my grandmother. My guess is that he is stressed from moving but I need ideas on how to calm him down so he doesn’t hurt anyone.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    At 12 I would get him a full health work up. Is it due to the move? Maybe, but maybe he is old and sore and that too is adding to his dislike of new people and things. Do some bloodwork and urine and see how he is feeling.

    In the house I would keep him on a leash when people are over to teach him the appropriate new manners and to keep an incident from happening. With some training on what you want (down stay) he will eventually learn that he can’t chase people and he needs to do obedience when people are over.

    [Reply]

  38. Joan says:

    We adopted a pug mix in March from the humane society. Since we brought him home and he got used to us he has become increasingly more aggressive to anyone who comes to the house, even to the point where I can’t open the front door. My children and grandchildren can’t even visit. If he’s not snapping at them he’s at the very least barking the entire time they’re here. When my son came today I wasn’t even able to let him in. Nothing seems to work with him as he cannot be distracted when someone comes over. He is about a year and a half old. I haven’t been able to find a trainer around here who deals with aggressive dogs. There have only been a couple of people who have visited that he seems to get along with although he loves my husband and myself, as long as we are not trying to restrain him or keep him from biting everyone else that is. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  39. Shelbe says:

    Hey my name is Shelbe I have a German shepherd mix and we are doing dog training but he is super skidish of new people and he barks and growls do you know any ways to stop this

    [Reply]

  40. Karen says:

    My roommate has a Shep/rotty mix and he isn’t aggressive with me because I can point my finger and firmly say No Digging, he hides under his doghouse which is way too big and off the ground… But, he looks at people in a strange way and they back away… I told my friend he has to be put on a runner in the back yard, because he’s Digging and I like grass in my yard.. Or I told him to find another home for him, he can’t walk him he has Arthritis. I told him it wasn’t fair to leave him tied all day and not play with him.. He is 2 yrs old… I don’t want him to bite anyone because I will be Liable… Can you please help. I live in Florida..

    [Reply]

  41. Elaine Osborne says:

    My little shirkie will play fetch two times and then become aggressive and act like she will bite me if I try to take the ball away. She will eventually crawl into her bed or under my bed and act like she will bite me if I try to continue playing. How can I change this behavior? I can tell she really wants to play but I don’t know how to deal with this.

    [Reply]

  42. Michelle says:

    I have a 2 year old female Pit Bull mix who’s recently started to be aggressive towards our 4 year old male Australian Shepherd mix but only when my husband is around. Otherwise they are fine together. She was my brother’s dog but he had no basic training for her other than sit and paw. He eventually gave her to our Mother but circumstances became difficult and she was brought to me from New Mexico. We had a rough start but we slowly integrated her into the house and got her socialized with the other dog. I’ve trained her in all the basics but now over the past 2 weeks she’s been acting out. Could this be a case of not enough exercise? She hasn’t bitten him just growls and lunges but I do not wish to let this get out of hand. Thanks in advance.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would certainly try more exercise.

    And you need nearly perfect obedience on both dogs.

    I have two dogs that sometimes don’t enjoy each other’s company and I manage the situation because they are both so well trained that they listen to me pretty much immediately.

    If I say DOWN they drop, if I say leave it, they listen. That is the kind of obedience that will keep them from getting in an altercation.

    You can’t force them to like each other, you can only make sure you are around and can control the situation.

    [Reply]

  43. Dawn says:

    We had a schnauzer, and a dachshund mix. We had a stray 6-9 month old boxer and probably pit mix show up skinny full of worms and very submissive about 1 1/2 years ago. He’s always played very well with the little dogs even rolling on his back to play with the schnauzer. About a month ago he started getting aggressive with the dachshund. We thought the little dog was starting it but, it has escalated. He has once even lunged an mouthed at me when I went to take a food wrapper out of his mouth. Today he went after the little dog with no food involved we were just all in bed and I was petting the dachshund and he went for her. Then when we were eating at the table he went for our schnauzer. Can you help us? or know who can. Its like a switch was turned when he turned 2. He’s been treated like the little dogs. I feed them together. They all sleep with us. Tonight I think we will put him in another room as we have started sperating them when we leave. This is breaking our hearts.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Find a boarded veterinary behaviorist to help you with aggression.

    [Reply]

  44. Andi says:

    I have a dog that has lived with us and our 2 other dogs. Recently she has been getting aggressive towards particularly towards one dog way more the other. Neither of them are the Alpha dog but they keep growling biting and getting into more fights and it’s becoming more intense and more frequent. Usually when I break them up I get bit in the process never broken skin but tonight they were really biting each other and one broke my skin. She consistently seeks out the other one to start a fight. I’m at my wits end and. Don’t know what to do. I’ve tried water spray bottles, separating them after fights separating them during the night but nothing works. Why all of a sudden are they now doing this and how can I stop it.

    [Reply]

  45. babes says:

    I have a 7 month year old miniature pinscher. I have had three in the past. But this one seems to be different. She has a temper. Even with me sometimes. When I come home she’s biting at my hands as well as being excited to see me. I can’t let no one touch her because she bites at hands. Not hard… But I don’t want a child to touch her and think the dog is hurting her. I will smack her when she’s wrong but it doesn’t seem to affect her. And when I go somewhere… Pulling into a store or beach. .. She barks and goes crazy. I have to get her out the car right away to make her stop… I need some help!

    [Reply]

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