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How to train an aggressive dog

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Zara, Staff Writer

Wednesday, 26th May 2021

No dog owner wants to own an aggressive dog. But what do you do if that perfect pup that you bring home begins to show signs of aggression? You need to know how to train an aggressive dog.

It isn’t easy – training an aggressive dog takes both time and commitment, but it’s definitely possible. With a bit of dedication and hard work, you can transform your dog into a loving family pet. So, how do you train an aggressive dog?

What are the signs of an aggressive dog?

Aggression is a term that is used to describe multiple different behaviors. It will usually begin as a warning sign but could lead to an attack if not dealt with. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of an aggressive dog to look out for.

Signs of aggression in dogs can include:

  • Growling

  • Showing teeth

  • Snarling

  • Standing rigid or still

  • Lunging or charging at a human

  • A threatening bark

  • Biting

Why do dogs show signs of aggression?

Aggression can begin for many reasons. Your dog may be territorial or possessive, or they may be trying to protect someone. If you’ve adopted a rescue dog, you may find that they’ve had a troubled past and may now be fearful and defensive.

However, it’s also important to note that sudden aggression can be a response to pain. If your usually calm dog suddenly becomes aggressive, it’s important to take them to the vets for a check-up to ensure that there isn’t an underlying cause.

Understanding the reason for your dog’s aggression is important as it can help you to personalize their training and adapt their environment accordingly.

How to socialize an aggressive dog

If your dog is aggressive, you might be wondering whether you can socialize them. Is it really safe to socialize an aggressive dog?

Whilst the critical window of socialization is before 16 weeks, it’s never too late to begin socializing an older dog. However, it’s certainly more challenging to socialize an older or aggressive dog.

Before you think about socializing your aggressive dog, you’ll need to work on training them first. Until then, try to walk them at quiet times of day and keep them on a leash at all times. This will help to ensure the safety of those around you, as well as the safety of your dog.

How to train an aggressive dog

The most important thing to remember is that aggression in dogs should never be ignored. Not only could it become dangerous for those around you, but it could also lead to your dog becoming injured.

You should also never punish aggression in your dog. Dogs aren’t capable of understanding punishment so they’re more likely to become aggressive as a defense when punishment is used.

The best way to deal with aggressive behavior is to reward the good behavior and ignore the bad. Dogs are motivated by food, play, and attention, so focusing on reward-based training and giving your dog these things when they behave well will help to condition their behavior.

Just like children, dogs need to be conditioned in their behavior. This takes time – it won’t happen overnight. The most important thing is to be patient with your dog and consistent with your training.

Hire a Dog Trainer

Ultimately, the best way to train an aggressive dog is to hire a dog trainer. They will be able to work with you to find the cause of the aggression and put a training plan together that suits your dog’s breed and temperament.

If you’re ready to hire a Dog Trainer for your aggressive dog, you can find a Dog Trainer on Bark. 

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