Dominance Related Aggression In Your Dog

For convenience, we will refer to your dog as “he” rather than “he or she”.


There are many causes of aggression in dogs.  Aggression manifests itself in a variety of ways such as growling, exposing teeth, snarling, snapping or actually biting.  In the case of dominance related aggression, it is primarily directed at members of the family, as well as other people with whom the dog comes into regular contact.


Learn to recognize and anticipate the situations or circumstances which are likely to lead to the onset of a bout of aggression, so that you can recognize it in its early stages and act quickly to defuse the situation before any harm or injury results.  These signs include such things as:


●    jealous protection of such things as food, bones, bed, or any pilfered items;


●    changes in his demeanour of posture.  For instance he may challenge you when you try to pat him on the head or trim his nails, or when you stare at him, or try to discipline him;


●    attempting to make him do something against his will.


Many trainers think that some of the most effective approaches to overcoming this problem relate to food and exercise.


●    Make sure he has a sensible diet and that he eats the correct amount of food;


●    Ensure that his training environment is quiet and relaxed and non-threatening;


●    Keep the training sessions short and frequent, such as ten minute sessions twice a day, and make a particular effort to ensure they are fun and enjoyable for him;


●    Be careful to avoid any confrontation.  Anticipation is important in this regard;


●    Avoid punishment and do not yell or stare at him.  Never, under any circumstances, lose your temper with him.  Ignore any error and maintain a positive, encouraging relationship with him.  When he does something good, be sure to immediately praise and reward him.


●    Do not attempt to make him do something against his will.


●    In extreme cases speak with your Vet who may find that medication is needed.


We wish you every training success and years of enjoyment for both you and your dog.