Overcoming Aggression In My Dog

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


In order to learn how to train an aggressive dog to become calm and settled, the trainer must begin by understanding what makes a dog become aggressive in the first place.  There are a number of reasons to explain this type of behaviour.


Let us consider some of the common reasons for aggressive behaviour.  Dogs are by nature territorial animals.  A dog is very likely to show aggression if he feels that his territory is threatened.  This may result from changes which have occurred in his environment which you may not have been aware of, but which your dog picks-up on.  It is important, if such a change in behaviour does become apparent, that you correct it before it settles in and becomes a habit.


Another common cause of aggressive behaviour is lack of correct physical attention from a young age.  This is the type of problem that should not have developed, and probably did so from lack of training, or from the use of incorrect training methods, or from rough treatment by another person.


Sometimes aggression develops as a result of handling errors.  Washing and nail clipping are activities which sometimes lead to problem behaviour.  For instance, if his nails are trimmed too closely it is bound to be painful and this may well lead to long term fear of having his nails clipped.  He is even likely to react badly at the very sight of the clippers.


The best approach to curbing aggressive behaviour is to progress sensitively and slowly, with the emphasis being on the trainer remaining calm and relaxed.  If your dog shows signs of becoming distressed, stop doing what lead to the distress and encourage him to relax.  Try to turn the occasion into one of fun and entertainment.  Praise him, handle him and offer him a treat.  If you lack confidence in the situation, leave off for a while and try again later.  Take heart from the knowledge that almost all types of aggressive behaviour can be overcome, but it may require time and patience on your part.


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