Free Tips to Stop Great Dane Dog Aggression

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 5, 2024

stop Great Dane dog aggression

I teach a couple of Palos Verdes dog parents how to stop Great Dane dog aggression when I worked with 8 year-old Ellie and her 10 week-old pal Chloe.

I was originally called in to help the dogs get along as Ellie had started growling at the new puppy. Fortunately, the guardians had done a good job of limiting their time together In the first week allowing Ellie some time and space to feel more relaxed.

By the time I arrived for the session, the dogs were able to hang out together with without any problems. I spent a little bit of time going over some puppy training tips such as the importance of the critical socialization period, how to introduce and use a marker word, potty training, body handling and some feeding tips.

I also made a strong push for them to set up a long-term confinement area (LTCA). In my experience, I think that that is probably the biggest advancement in raising puppies in 20 years. The puppies in the DGP Puppy School that have a LTCA usually don’t develop separation anxiety, have better mouth manners, don’t develop unwanted chewing behaviors and see more confident as adult dogs later on.

Fortunately the guardians had already enrolled Chloe in puppy classes which is super important. I recommended they do everything they can to try to find other puppies of a similar age to set up play dates with Miss Chloe. This is super important in terms of developing social skills, confidence as well as good mouth manners.

We also went over some basic dog obedience and some dog behavior tips that will help both dogs. One of the most powerful, that is also the easiest, is something I call celebrating.

To celebrate your dog, you simply wait for them to do anything that you like and then mark and reward the behavior. Your dog sits, you say yes and pep them under their chin. Your dog comes to you while you’re watching TV, you say yes and scratch their butt. The key is you’re not telling the dog to do these things, you’re just waiting for them to do them on their own. This is a great way to teach puppy manners, but it also helps adult dogs too.

Although the dogs were now getting along, Ellie still had a dog reactivity problem that I wanted to help her humans with. Many people confuse reactivity with dog aggression. While there are aggressive dogs in the world, in my experience most dogs that act away that we label as aggression or actually being fearful, protective, territorial and not actually aggressive.

How to Stop Great Dane Dog Aggression

Anytime you want to help a dog stop acting aggressive to dogs, you need to identify why they are feeling and acting that way in the first place.

Ellie did not have the benefit of going to puppy classes and this may be a contributing factor to her barking at other dogs. If that is the case, it’s possible that she is barking at them to make them go away so they don’t discover that she is a little insecure.

A great way to stop a dog from acting aggressive to another dog is to change its emotional response. If you’re lucky, your dog likes treats. This makes it easier to stop dog aggression. if you have a dog that growls at other dogs or doesn’t like them, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video below.

The great thing about this tip to stop dog on dog aggression is that it’s easy to do if you set things up ahead of time.

We had arranged for the neighbor to walk by the house instead of simply waiting for someone to come by with their dogs. This is one of the best set ups for this tip to stop dog on dog aggression as you can control the other dog.

However sometimes you don’t have the benefit of a friend with dogs who can help you out. Another way to practice the secret to stopping dog aggression is to practice in a park where many people are walking their dogs. The guardians will need to find a place where there is a wide open space as they may need to move further or closer to the other dogs.

The ideal place to practice this exercise to stop dog on dog aggression is a park that has walking paths people use when they are walking their dogs or jogging by.

I like to tell clients to keep score when they’re practicing this exercise which is often referred to as the engage disengage game. Every time the dog looks at another dog and doesn’t bark, you click and give it a treat and count that as a score in the positive column.

If your dog growl or barks at another dog, you don’t click and instead move your dog a little further away. You would also count that as a score in the negative column.

Ideally you would like to end up with a score of 30, 40, 50 or more to zero.

But the most important thing about this method of stopping dog aggression is to practice below the dogs limit. If you do this right, it should look like the dog is very relaxed. That’s because you’re managing the distance and keeping the dog further away so it doesn’t feel uncomfortable and need to bark to make the other dog go away.

Overtime, you’ll be able to get closer and closer to the other dogs. But there will be good days and bad days as dog training is not a linear process

I’d like the guardians to practice this trick to stop Great Dane dog aggression a couple of times a week. In the meantime, the guardians need to do all they can to prevent Elly from seeing another dog that she may bark at.

When you rehabilitating a dogs behavior, you want to avoid anything that will help the dog practice unwanted behavior while simultaneously arrange practice sessions for the behavior that you want.

To help the guardians remember all of the other behavior tips we shared in this in-home Palos Verdes dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success summary video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr