How To Train Your Dog: A dog may become aggressive due to multiple reasons such as discomfort, stress, and illness. This can be sudden or long-term, and the signs of hostile behavior include excessive low-range barking, staring, snarling, growling, having a stiff and high tail, and standing tall.
Taming Your Dog
Some aggressive dogs show no warning signs, so both the dog owner and the bite victim need to deal with the matter amicably. Learn more here if your dog bites somebody because there’s a possibility of facing legal consequences. At the same time, if you’ve sustained an injury because of an aggressive dog, you can file for damages.
There are ways to stop a dog’s aggressive behavior. Learn how to train your pet by reading below.
1. Create A List Of Trigger Factors
Your dog may have specific trigger factors that can cause aggression, so you need to observe your pet and take down notes. What makes your dog appear fearful, angry, or withdrawn? For instance, aggressive behavior may happen when there are thunderstorms, firecrackers, or loud noises.
Some canines get anxious because of adverse life experiences they had in the past. For example, if you adopted a dog from a shelter that was previously mistreated may show aggression in odd objects and situations such as people with backpacks or wearing hats.
2. Encourage Socialization Early
One way to create a well-rounded, sociable, and happy dog is to encourage socialization as early as the puppy stage or from three weeks to three months old. For some reason, some dog owners miss this critical period; as a result, dogs develop frustrating behavior issues and become aggressive in their adult years.
3. Set Safety Measures
Before you train an adult dog to socialize, it’s important to set some safety measures to avoid causing injury to other people and damage to properties if ever your pet becomes too aggressive. Here are some safety measures you can implement before training your dog:
- Get An Escape-Proof Harness: Because most dogs are aggressive on walks, you need to get your pet an escape-proof harness for an added layer of safety. For larger canines, a head halter is a better option to control them more easily.
- Crate Training: Make your dog comfortable in a crate to help you put your pet away if you need to keep your home visitors safe. At least, your dog finds the crate a safe place if ever strangers carry stress triggers.
- Muzzle Training: If your dog has snapped and bitten someone, there’s a high chance of another similar behavior. Hence, conducting muzzle training is important. A muzzle is a mouth and nose covering for dogs that helps prevent unwanted biting. It should be well-fitted to enable your dog to eat, drink, and pant comfortably. You can introduce a muzzle to your dog by allowing your pet to sniff it first by using a treat like a squeeze cheese before slipping it to the nose.
- Install Baby Gates: You can set baby gates to separate your dogs from guests, visitors, and other animals to avoid aggressive behavior.
4. Have Obedience Cues
You need to teach your dogs to obey basic commands to help you stop aggressive behavior if it strikes. Teach them to listen and obey your cues such as touching your hand when they get triggered to divert their attention and have your anxious dogs relax.
Other helpful obedience cues you need to teach your dogs are sitting and lying down to help position them when they’re triggered. You can also use ‘watch me’ or ‘leave it’ commands, so they can pay attention to you when they become aggressive.
5. Cultivate A Gentle And Gradual Exposure
Gentle exposure can help remove your dog’s fear even without using treats. You can do this by taking your pet out to experience the environment. Don’t overdo the exposure because it may cause harm to people, things, and other animals.
Set a threshold that your dog can tolerate and stop. The next time, you can increase the exposure until your pet performs better and become less aggressive.
Train your dogs to stop aggressive behavior through gradual exposure to their triggers and conditioning. For certain circumstances, avoid petting your dogs to prevent tolerating their negative behavior.
As a responsible dog owner, teaching the right behavior can prevent causing harm to people and your pets. It’s one way to help your dogs become more sociable and happier than ever. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you train your pets to be the best version of themselves.