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Dealing with dog aggression

First things first let’s find out what sort of dog aggression we are addressing here:

  • Territorial dog aggression
  • Fear aggression
  • Maternal/protective dog aggression
  • Dominance aggression

So, put simply, are they acting aggresively because they feel it is their duty to protect their ( and your) territory? A dog does not have to be dominant to protect against incursions into their territory – in fact, in a pack mentality, that can often be the duty of a dog low on the pecking order of importance!

The only dogs that attack people outright are those that are trained to do so. Any normal dog will give someone they consider a threat a chance to back off by showing aggressive behaviour and body language such as:

  • Rushing forwards then stopping
  • Manic barking
  • Ears flat
  • Fangs exposed
  • Hackles raised
  • Excess salivation
  • and more depending on the dog’s confidence

Further a ‘nip’ in dog terms is a warning – in human terms it’s a bite! “That dog should be put down!

The fact is that most people can’t read/understand what the dog is trying to tell them. So they ignore those signals and continue to escalate the perceived threat ( as the dog sees it). For example they continue to move towards the dog, make constant eye contact and make odd noises or are silent. All these are seen by the dog as aggressive gestures which escalates the situation.

Back off!If you came into my back yard, unnannounced and uninvited, and I shouted at you aggressively that if you didn’t get the heck out double quick I’d whack you with this here shovel would you stick around?

But a dog snaps at some twit who doesn’t understand the message being given ( how hard can it be to understand?) and next thing you know the whole world’s talking about the possibility of putting your dog down.

So, now we’re clear that it isn’t always the dog’s problem, let’s address the best way to train this sort of aggression ( let’s say upsetting the Postman). What we need to do is to explain to our dog that not every visitor is a danger to our little home. So we chat to the postman with the dog present, shake his hand and, at the same time, train the postman to introduce himself to our dog, preferably whistling or similar as he walks up the drive.

He then greets the dog – avoids too much eye contact and our dog will do the same. Doesn’t mean they’re going to be best pals but a ‘ceasefire’ of sorts will have been established. The main thing is to praise the dog for raising the alarm but then getting him to ‘stand down’ as you are on the scene and have decided there is no threat.

PetCalm, Dog Aggression Formula and Problem Pet Solution are all recommended herbal products that can calm overly fearful, stressed and anxious dogs that become aggressive as a result of those states of mind.


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  1. Excellent post! It never ceases to amaze me the number of dog owners that don’t understand that any behavior exhibited by their pooch, good or bad, has a reason. That goes not only for aggression, but most other problem behaviors, as well.

    Thanks for the great info…

  2. People should stop expecting dogs to have human traits and realise that they speak an alien language!

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