Let’s assume that all dogs are different from each other so they have a different character and it is difficult to give specific advice that can be suitable for any dog.
A correct premise to make is that a dog’s aggression can also depend on how it was raised or on the various life situations that the dog had to face and with which he had to deal with. Dogs are not born aggressive but they become aggressive. For big problems of aggression it is necessary to get help from a professional in the sector.
In general, however, the advice we are about to give you could help you act correctly and limit or eliminate your dog’s unwarranted aggression.
THE 3 CATEGORIES OF AGGRESSION
First of all it is necessary to understand what kind of aggression it is, there are 3 main categories:
- Nutrition- related aggression
- Aggression towards children / people
- Aggression towards other dogs
Once you have defined the trigger it is good to understand that most dog training plans include the famous positive reinforcement.
HOW TO USE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT IN CASE OF AGGRESSION?
Since you know what the trigger of his aggression is, you will need to approach this element carefully with the dog on a leash. Stop at a safe distance and wait for the dog to calm down (distract him from the target if necessary).
In this juncture of time, reward him (here you can find snacks and morsels) and praise him by stroking him or distract him by playing with him. When he is calm, approach the trigger and proceed with the same process again (game-praise-positive attitude).
You see in this way the dog is slowly associating the goal (which usually causes him to become aggressive) with a good time in which he has fun and receives your praise.
What you want to achieve is that in the future he / she will remember your cuddles on a similar occasion. And that’s exactly what it means to use “positive reinforcement”: to associate something positive with what he deems to be a threat.
Warning: one thing absolutely not to do is to punish the dog for its aggression. in fact there are two good reasons to do it:
- In this condition the dog is emotionally involved and will absolutely not understand why you are punishing him.
- If he feels threatened, the dog may rightly react aggressively and it is not uncommon for him to also turn against his owner by biting him
1. Aggression during meals
If your dog shows signs of aggression during the meal you will have to “retrain” his way of thinking in a certain sense.
One thing that works very well to do this is: when you feed your dog, pour a small amount of food into his bowl at a time, so that he has to stop and wait for you to pour more food into the bowl to be able to eat again.
This exercise is very important because it makes the dog understand that you love him and that you enjoy feeding him.
It also makes it clear in his mind that it is you who feed him and that therefore he has nothing to fear even if you approach him while he is eating. The trigger for aggression during meals is definitely the fear that you might steal food from them.
2. Aggression with other dogs or people
The aggressions that can occur between your dog and other dogs (or people) are potentially dangerous events for both him and yourself. So when you bring a dominant dog into your family you need to keep this factor in mind and know all that is necessary to avoid them and reduce aggression problems.
If we get a puppy, the first twelve weeks are essential. In fact, it is good to immediately reinforce his correct behaviors positively. If the socialization during this period takes place correctly then he will be able to establish a good relationship with other dogs and with people. Otherwise, he may have an attitude of fear or aggression.
To this end it is important that the dog sees you as a point of reference and has full confidence in you. In fact, even in case of aggression with other dogs, he will listen to the call of the master and obey him.
You should never pull your dog by the leash, as in most cases, he will be so busy that he will not listen to you and you will run the risk of getting bitten. It is also highly not recommended to act violently towards the dog or dogs involved, as this will increase the aggression of the contenders.
The best behavior to take would be to lift the dog slightly by the belly and invite him to continue the walk or distract him with games or positive reinforcement.
Sometimes it can happen that the dog does not listen to you and is totally absorbed by the source that arouses aggression or anger in him. If you do not pay attention to you it could also be a problem linked to the fact that the dog does not recognize you as an “alpha dog”