Stop Bad Behavior in its Tracks

You love your pooch, but are you sometimes frustrated and looking for dog obedience advice? Even the most well-behaved dog will often have bad habits or behaviors that need to be addressed. That doesn’t make he/she a bad dog. Far from it!

Even so, mans best friend can really drive you nuts! Nothing serious, just chewing up slippers or growling around other dogs or just digging up the backyard!

Let’s first talk about dog aggression. Most people have seen the signs in their dogs or the dogs of others: Bared teeth, a menacing stance, growling and biting. But precious few people have any idea about why those things occur.

Getting a good grasp on what is causing aggressive behavior on the part of your dog is the first and best dog obedience advice I can offer. The bottom line is, a well-behaved dog is truly a happier, healthier dog, and that’s what you and your dog want!

Dog Dominance Aggression

First and foremost, understand that your dog comes from a long line of pack animals. That’s in their DNA and it won’t change. As a result of that pack animal mentality, many dogs will look to establish themselves as the alpha dog. The top dog as it were! Sometimes, dogs will try to assert this dominance toward humans around them, especially new ones, but more often will exhibit it toward other dogs.

When there are an unusual number of people or dogs around is when you are most likely to see this behavior, even in dogs that normally won’t display it.

Dog Territorial Aggression

Along with dominance, and perhaps related to it, canines are very territorial as well. They will consider their “pack”, that is, their home and family, as their own and will defend it fiercely. So if a dog perceives that a person or animal (or groups of either) is threatening the pack in some way, it will turn aggressive.

In some ways, this is one of the best reasons for dog aggression. After all, many people want a dog for protection, at least in part. But still, in our modern human world, this old-school protective aggression is unacceptable.

Dog Fear Aggression

Dogs are much like humans when it comes to fear. They get scared. They react with aggression.

The good news is, there are signs to look for. A dog that is growling, showing ears pulled back and has its tail between its legs is a cornered dog and you should expect aggression from it.

The key thing to remember with fear aggression is that the dog is afraid of something in its environment. Rather than treating this as direct aggression, understand that there is stimulus in the environment that can be changed and the dog will lose the aggression.

Dog Predatory Nature

Certain breeds of dogs are more in tune with their hunting roots and will mistake small children, cats, and dogs as prey and will instinctively try to hunt and chase it down.

Dog Redirected Aggression

What is redirected aggression? Simply put, the dog may turn on something nearby when it cannot take out its aggression on what is really bothering it. For example, lets say you have two dogs in your backyard and an intruder comes to the door. Lets say its a repairman. When the dogs see the intruder in the house, they sense danger for the pack, but not being able to attack the repairman directly, the dogs will instead turn on each other.

Redirected aggression can seem bewildering to a dog owner since it may not be clear what is setting their dog off.

Medical Reasons for Dog Aggression

This is a very important consideration when it comes to dog aggression. While any dog can be trained to lose its aggression in certain circumstances, a dog experiencing undiagnosed medical conditions will not respond correctly to any effort to curb its aggression.

In addition, a female dog that is pregnant or nursing will always be more aggressive than is its normal state. Rather than chastising the dog, it is best to accommodate it while it is in this condition, finding it a place to feel safe and undisturbed. That said, some dogs are unacceptably aggressive and that behavior can be curbed with good training early in life.

Again, the best dog obedience advice I can offer you is to understand what might be the underlying cause of any dog aggression. That will lead you to the best treatment.

Ultimately, all dogs can benefit from proper dog training. While training methods can vary by breed and situation, any training is better than no training.