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Handling Dog-on-Dog Aggression

 Handling Dog-on-Dog Aggression

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Most people at some point in life have witnessed a dog-on-dog fight.  The scene is terrifying, giving people a sense of helplessness.  Unfortunately, these types of fights usually result in one dog being badly injured, or dead.  If you have a dog that is aggressive toward other dogs, you have a serious situation on your hands, one that needs quick intervention.

Remember that dog-on-dog aggression is not focused on one particular breed or gender.  Sure, there are breeds that tend to be more aggressive toward other animals than some, such as Pit Bulls, Chows, and German Shepherds, but most often, it is a learned behavior.  In addition, dogs that have not been given proper socialization or those that have come from a harsh environment will often show aggressive behaviors.  To correct the problem, past lessons have to be unlearned.

To prevent dog-on-dog aggression, it is imperative that obedience training be done as young as possible.  Even if you have adopted a mature dog with this type of bad behavior, it is never too late to start training.  Remember, you need to understand the things that are increasing the likelihood of aggression.  Then, learn the signs, which might include your dog putting his ears back, tail up, and showing his teeth.  Finally, you will need to teach your dog that other dogs are not the enemy.

Some dogs will be aggressive toward other dogs just because.  However, other dogs may not show aggression unless the other dog approaches with an aggressive attitude first.  Start by paying attention to different situations and settings to identify what sets your dog off.  Then, with this in mind, learn the behaviors your dog will display when he is feeling aggressive.  With this, you have the opportunity to remove him from the situation, avoiding a possible disaster.  Then, teaching your dog to respect other dogs comes with patience and time.

Many times, the dog-on-dog aggression comes from the owner.  Dogs pay attention to their owner’s emotions and actions.  If you are tense around your dog, you are creating an environment of uncertainty that stresses the dog.  This mean you have to take the alpha role, letting your dog know that you are the only boss in the house, one that will be respected at all times.

Next, with a muzzle on your dog, start introducing him to environments with other dogs, the street, local park, etc.  Whenever you walk past a dog and your dog starts to lunge or growl, firmly pull up and back on the leash while telling him “no”.  Do not stop to do anything else just continue walking as if you are in total control.  Using this while making a psssst noise can also be highly effective and in many ways, better than voice commands.

The bottom line is that you play a huge role in the way your dog is raised and trained.  To ensure people and other dogs are not put in danger, any aggression needs to be stopped.  If you find that your dog responds to some degree but is not reaching the goal, then you could hire a professional trainer, one that specializes in the area of dog-on-dog aggression.