How to Prevent Dog Aggression and Help a Big Pack of Dogs Get Along

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: September 29, 2017

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with Zues (left), Nala (second from the left), Bruce (right) and Bubbles (top) a one-year-old Old English Mastiff, Wirehaired Pointer and French Bulldog who needed training to stop disagreements between the dogs in the house and help the dogs have calmer energy.

After I arrived at the house, many of the dogs continued to demand attention from me while I sat down to chat with the guardian. I learned that the dogs didn’t have a lot of rules in place, which can lead to dogs thinking that they are the leaders of the house. I wanted to help the guardians establish themselves as the leaders of the house to help prevent dog aggression between the dogs in the home.

To help stop dog aggression, I first taught the guardian some dog behaviors to look out for. To stop a dog fight before it begins the guardians will want to look for times when the dogs are near high value objects, such as bones and toys. This can lead to the dogs protecting their toy or bone, sometimes leading into a disagreement between the dogs. Another time when dogs are more likely to disagree with each other is when they are highly excited. If you notice your dog going from a relaxed body position to a rigid body position or having a glossy, “far look” in their eyes, you want to deescalate the situation as soon as possible.

To help the guardians gain leadership in the home and prevent dog aggression before it begins, I taught the guardians our Leadership Exercise, which you can watch below.

The Leadership Exercise is a great way to help the dogs adopt a follower’s mindset and look to their guardians for direction and leadership. When the dogs understand that their guardians are the leaders, they will be less likely to try to assert themselves as leaders with the other dogs and if they were to, the guardians can intervene before a disagreement occurs.

By the end of the session the dogs had much calmer energy and were adopting a follower’s mindset. To keep up with this good behavior the guardians will want to use the Escalating Consequences to disagree with them and our Petting with a Purpose technique to reward them for good behavior. I wrapped up this session with Zues, Bruce, Nala and Bubble’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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