Friday, June 18, 2010

Dog Behavior Spotlight: Aggression in your Pet

Part 2

Now, part 1 is very vital to learning to control your pet's aggression. Once you train your dog to realize that you are in control, you can move on to the next step. You want your aggressive pup to be able to be around people and other pets without being aggressive. To do this, start out slowly. Remember, if your dog is not neutered, it might make it more difficult to train him.

Keep your dog on his leash at all times during this exercise. This is for the safety of the pet and to those around him. You will want to observe how your dog reacts to certain stimuli. Have your dog sit down. Keeping a safe distance, have a person or another pet to walk past your dog. Notice how your dog reacts. Does he immediately start to pull on the leash, trying to get closer to the person/animal? Does he bark or growl? Whatever your dog may be doing, it is important to tell him "no" so that he is aware it is unacceptable behavior. When your dog reacts in a way that you do not approve of, do the same trick as before and tap him on the shoulder and say "no" and make him sit down and stay seated. As before, it is important to do this several times until your dog understands that he is not allowed to participate in the unacceptable behavior. If you dog begins to understand what to do and stays seated and does not react when the person or pet walks by, you can give him a treat to reward his behavior. However, it is important not to allow him to snatch it out of your hand. Give him the treat and say "good boy!"

It is essential that you are consistent with your dog. If you are not, it will confuse the dog. It is also important that you work with your dog everyday. Although it may get frustrating at times, do not give up. You may not be able to completely control your pet's aggressive behavior but doing these tips will start him on the road to becoming a more well-behaved pet.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dog Behavior Spotlight: Aggression in your Pet

Part 1

No matter what size your pet may be or how aggressive your pet is, you can learn to control your dog’s aggressive behavior. If you are yelling at your dog or pulling on his/her leash to get it to listen to you, then you are doomed to fail. This type of approach can cause serious issues in your pet, and in some cases, has caused the pet to become more aggressive.

The first step to controlling your pet’s aggression is to understand what is causing the aggressive behavior. Most dogs are aggressive out of sheer frustration. Male dogs are aggressive towards other dogs to show that he is in control. Dogs that are not neutered will be seen as a mate and view him as a dominant figure. If you have a male dog that is not neutered and has this type of behavior, then it is important that you get him neutered right away. This has been shown to significantly reduce a male dog’s aggressive behavior. If your dog is already neutered and this has not solved the problem, then the first thing to do is to make sure your dog knows that you are in control, not him.

The best way to do this is to start out by walking your dog on a leash. Never allow him to get ahead of you or pull on the leash. If he does this, simply tap him on the shoulder and say “no” in a firm, yet calm voice. It is important to tap him with a firm hand, but do not beat the dog. You want to be sure to portray to your pet that you are in charge, but you do not want your dog to become afraid of you. This is why it is important not to hit your dog too hard. Be sure to walk your dog and do this several times every day. These repeated actions will be instilled in your dog and he will learn that you are in control. Once you have mastered this, and your dog is capable of walking beside you without tugging or pulling on the leash, then you will be ready for Part 2… coming next week.