Stopping a Dog From Displaying Occasional Dog Aggression

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 3, 2017

In this Omaha dog training session we used Counterconditioning to stop 3 year-old Labrador / Pit Bull mix Evvie (left) from reacting to strangers, skateboards, kids and to behave better around 9 year-old Lab / Doberman mix Gus.

Eve’s guardians had found leaving her in a back room when guests arrive was the best approach to ensure no nips to houseguests.

In addition to being aggressive to humans, Evvie plays too rough and sometimes goes after the senior dog Gus. Because this has happened multiple times, Gus is reticent to be near Evvie.

I spent an hour or so discussing the importance of rules and structure and showing the guardians easy ways to use positive dog training to help the dogs see them as authority figures. Its going to require consistency from the humans in terms of enforcing the new rules in order for Evvie to start to follow them on her own.

Its also going to be important to exclusively pet Evvie with a purpose and reward desired behaviors through passive training. Feeding Gus first, letting him out the door first and keeping Evvie away when she is over excited will also help the older dog feel more confident in being around her.

Another suggestion was to get Evvie more exercise on a daily basis and especially prior to hanging with Gus. Evvie is pretty physical in her ways of interacting and asking Gus to play and these interactions have caused Gus to withdraw.

To help Evvie’s guardians know what to look for, I spent a few minutes going over some canine body language in the video below.

Knowing what to look for can enable the human to interrupt and disagree with any aggressive behavior before things become physical. Combined with additional exercise and enforcement of the new rules will help Evvie start behaving how the guardians want her to.

While dog aggression is obviously a serious issue, some of the issue is likely a result of Evvie being younger and having far more energy. As a senior dog, he doesn’t have the same need to play or play intensity. Upping Evvie’s exercise will go a long ways toward eliminating some of the dog on dog aggression and play problems.

To address Evvie’s unwanted dog behavior and aggression towards humans, I went over a counterconditioning technique that can help. You can get this free dog training tip by watching the video below.

This type of counterconditioning is one of the purest forms of positive dog training out there. It takes times and a lot of repetitions. But when done properly, the dog stops seeing strangers as a threat. Combined with enforcement of the new rules, Evvie will start to adopt more of a follower’s mindset.

By the end of the session, Gus was still wary of Evvie but did pass by her a few times where in the past, he would defer or not come that close. Its going to take time, but since the guardians love Gus fiercely, I know they will take these lessons to heart. If they can strictly enforce the new rules and provide Evvie with structure, we can create a more appropriate leader follower dynamic that will benefit everyone in the home.

We finished things up by shooting roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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