Helping a Dog Get Over Its Dog Aggression with Counterconditioning

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 24, 2019

For this Santa Monica dog training session, we use counterconditioning to help 3 year-old Jack Russell Beagle mix Archer (right, pictured here with 3 year-old Maltese Poodle mix Lana) stop acting aggressively to other dogs.

We spent the first part of the session discussing the dog’s day to day life. As Santa Monica’s dog behavior expert, I have found that making sure the dog is getting enough exercise, is rewarded for desired behavior and has a clear understanding of the leadership structure in the home is essential for a dog to behave.

I suggested some rules, to pet the dogs with a purpose and how to reward the dogs for desired behaviors through passive training to make sure the dogs were comfortable and confident that their humans had things under control. This is an often overlooked component of stopping a dog from acting aggressive to other dogs.

To stop a dog from acting aggressive to other dogs, I like to use two techniques; counterconditioning and Behavior Adjustment Training. I usually start with the former and move to the later for dogs who are still aggressive to other dogs a month after my first session with them. Id like to see the guardians stick with this counterconditioning approach for the next month and see how much it helps the dog stop acting aggressive towards other dogs.

You can learn how to use counterconditioning to stop a dog from acting aggressive when it sees other dogs by watching the free dog training video below.

It was great to see Archer relaxing and enjoying the treat instead of lunging or barking as our helper dog walked by. Although this seems minor, helping a dog practice not acting aggressive while being around unknown dogs is a key aspect of teaching a dog to not act aggressive to other dogs.

It will be important for the guardians to practice this counterconditioning technique to stop dog aggression daily for a few weeks to help Archer feel more relaxed and positive around other dogs. It will take time and practice, but im confident the guardians can put a stop to his aggressive dog behavior with these changes and positive dog training techniques.

To help the guardians remember all the tips we shared in this in home Santa Monica dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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