Helping a Sheltie with Her Dog Aggression Problem

By: David Codr

Published Date: February 17, 2023

Dog Aggression

For this in home Omaha dog behavior training session we helped Sadie, a 6 year-old Sheltie with her dog aggression issues.

Sadie’s guardian reached out for help with a variety of behavior issues including struggling while being left alone and anxious behavior throughout the day.  The main focus for Sadie was her highly reactive behavior toward dogs.  We have found that in many cases, dogs act aggressive because they are fearful or insecure. The aggressive behavior usually makes the other dog go away so Sadie keeps using that behavior.

Our Behavior Consultant Christina spent time going over these concerns and found anxiety was a major factor in her dog’s aggressive behavior problem. Due to Sadie’s high level of anxiety, Christina recommended speaking with a vet about medication. We always want to explore all appropriate options when rehabilitating dogs, especially those who are reactive.

To help keep her active and engaged in positive activities, Christina introduced a variety of mental enrichment exercises such as, snuffle mats, treat dispensing toys, puzzles and a lick mat.  These are great ways to stimulate dogs, drain their energy, reduce anxiety, and build confidence.

Before she could share some secrets to stopping aggression in dogs, Christina introduced a marker word and some fundamental exercises including the name game and a hand targeting exercise. These are great skills for any dog to have, especially one who barks or lunges at other dogs on walks.

Tips to Stop Dog Aggression

Christina wanted to give Sadie’s guardian some tools to use to help stop her aggressive dog behavior when out on walks. One of the tips to stopping dog aggression is to develop a positive association with what the dog is reacting to.  We have learned that an easy way to help anxious or aggressive dogs is the engage disengage game.  If you have a dog who acts aggressively towards other dogs, you should check out the free positive dog training video below.

We love using this positive method to stop dog aggression as its not hard to do and is super effective (if you practice often and keep the right distance).

Before our sessions, Sadie barked, pulled or grabbed her owner’s clothes or body when she saw another dog. After a few sessions Sadie no longer shows aggressive behavior when seeing other dogs.  Instead, now when Sadie spots another dog, she calmly looks to her guardian for a treat and direction.

We are proud of Sadie and her guardian for practcing the dog behavior tips we shared with them. Now they both get to enjoy the fruits of their labor and dont have to worry about her dog acting out when she see’s dogs anymore.

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This post was written by: David Codr