Back when all dogs were wild, actions like chewing, scent-marking, and barking weren’t an issue. Now that dogs are a regular part of human families, these natural behaviours can become problem behaviour. That means we have to shape a dog’s natural behaviour so it fits in with polite society — what we might call teaching a dog good manners.
Handling an Aggressive Dog
Dogs can be aggressive for myriad reasons, ranging from furious anger to loving playfulness. Defensiveness, territorial protection, pain, even reproductive urges — these all can cause aggressive behaviour. It behoves every dog owner to know the difference, for everyone’s safety and benefit. It cannot take much to push an aggressive dog to the point where he is biting or attacking a family member or neighbour. There are, however, strategies to make your dog friendly and sociable. Learn how.
Handling a Dog that Bites
Dog’s mouths are analogous to human hands — they are dogs’ way of interacting with the word and analysing it. Dogs bite for many reasons, including anger and self-defence and love and playfulness. These reasons are easy to confuse because in the end they all have the same result. For whatever reason your dog has a tendency to bite, there are solutions to keep your dog from biting people or other dogs.
Stopping a Dog from Chasing Cars
Dogs have a deep urge to chase quickly moving things, and so when your dog gives chase to a Chevy, it makes a lot more sense to him than it might to you. In fact, the site of any object passing by your dog at a high speed can make your dog want to take off after it. Such a dog can confuse or frighten a driver, and put himself in danger. You can break you dog of this habit with a little patience. In this section you will find some tips on curbing your dog’s car-chasing urge.
Stopping a Dog from Chewing
Young dogs are especially prone to chewing because – just like newborns – it can be painful when their teeth grow in. But even grown dogs will chew inappropriately if distressed or bored. In some cases, chewing can even be good for your dog and keep his teeth clean. You can train your dog to know the difference between good chewing and bad chewing. Learn how to keep your dog focused on the chew toy and not your new sneakers.
Stopping a Dog’s Fighting Behaviour
Dogs are very territorial, and very tuned into the hierarchy of a group. Dominance is very important in canine society. In fact, most of the behaviour problems you have with your dog may stem from the way your dog perceives the power structure with you. If your dog believes he is the “top dog” or “alpha male” in your house, he might try to assert his dominance over you. For this reason, they can be motivated to fight, and when dogs fight, it can be quite frightening and dangerous for all involved. Here we explain the fight-impulse and how you can curb it or prevent it from coming into play.
Stopping a Dog from Jumping
When a pooch races across the room and jumps up to your shoulders, it’s not always a sign of love and affection — and regardless, it’s often inconvenient, uncomfortable or downright frightening. While some owners like to be greeted by their dog so enthusiastically, your dog might give the same salutation to other, more inappropriate guests. Pizza delivery people, relatives who are afraid of dogs, or young children might be put off by an aggressive dog. You can curb this behaviour and even train your dog to jump on command. You will learn how in this section.
Stopping a Dog from Leash Pulling
Dogs are genetically encoded to pull on a leash, stemming from their historical use as pullers of sleds and packs. Some dogs, however, take this behaviour too far by straining against the leash so hard that it interferes with their breathing. It might not be possible to break your pet of this habit entirely, but that’s not to say you can’t train your pooch to keep this aggressive behaviour to a minimum. Depending on your breed of dog, this section offers a variety of solutions for this problem.
An aggressive dog isn’t necessarily an angry or violent dog. Move on to the next section to learn how to handle this problem.