If your dog growls or snaps any time another dog is in his vicinity, then he probably suffers from dog to dog aggression. This problem causes many owners grief every year and can hinder a relationship with their dogs. Many times, this aggression leaves one of the dogs injured or, even worse, dead. Fines, prosecution, and having the dog put to sleep are some of the serious consequences of letting dog aggression become too serious. For the most part, dogs become aggressive when they feel threatened. Dogs may feel that their life is in jeopardy or that their master is in trouble. There is not an easy way to tell, but an aggressive dog can become a threat to the master, another animal, or a human being. Dog aggression must be dealt with for both the dog s and the master s sake.
Signs that a dog is becoming agitated include growling, barking, staring at, or raising ears at another dog. Just because a dog s tail is wagging does not mean he is happy, so don t judge your dog s state of mind just on his tail. If he stops suddenly and his demeanor changes radically, then you know that something is bothering him. Training is in order to stop this behavior.
It is very important that your dog acknowledges you as the master. By giving you control of the situation, you take the decision off of him. A master is in command at all times no matter what is happening around. An untrained dog can turn on his master, during these times of stress, as easily as the animal he is upset with.
In order to stop dog to dog aggression, you will have to train your dog to look at you before he reacts to a situation. This is called Deference Training . By staying calm and in control during these times, your dog will react in a similar manner. Serious training is required and in some instances outside professional help is also needed. There are also many training materials available in pet stores, veterinary clinics, and online that may be of some benefit to you.
During these training sessions, you want to get your dog used to different social settings such as the back yard, a small park, or a walk down the street. Keeping him away from other animals is very important during the first stages of training. Let him see how you react to different stimuli during these walks. Focusing on him will keep him focused on you and will give him a feeling of security that will aid when encountering the outside stimuli. After a few weeks of distance, gradually move closer to the activities that you pass. Praise him often when he is acting appropriately and allow him to relax with you. When he shows signs of aggression, take his attention away and onto you. Eventually, he will judge his surroundings by how you react to them. When you are in control, things will be peaceful and he will react accordingly. After a while, it will be natural to him to let you be the controller of these situations.
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