How do You Befriend an Aggressive Dog?
Dog aggression is a complex issue. If the dog is human aggressive, the first step is to get immediate professional help. That's right; Daniel believes that dealing with human aggression is too dangerous for the average pet owner. If you ever have to put yourself between your dog and a person, or worse yet, someone's child, please seek professional help immediately.
There are some good trainers out there who can help with extremely serious cases of aggression. But again, if it's human aggression, you need to hire a professional immediately. There are very few circumstances where this is something an untrained pet owner can handle on their own.
Daniel's training philosophy revolves around building a relationship with your dog based on rules, boundaries, and limitations, not force or fear of any kind. When the dog understands how their small section of the world works - which is through teaching, not through dominance - he or she is free to relax and have a good time.
Dominance & Fear are the Two Most Common Causes of Dog Aggression
Much of the dog aggression that Daniel deals with are dogs who are either dominant or fearful. When you're dealing with an aggressive dog, these feelings become reinforced by how you handle the situation.
The best thing to do is avoid any kind of forced interaction where the dog is put into an uncomfortable situation. If a dog is scared for any reason, it will only exacerbate the problem.
Dominance aggression is a more common type of aggression, and it's very difficult to tease out the cause of the dominance. This kind of aggression does not respond well to positive reinforcement or any other rewards-based techniques. It will only continue on until the dog understands that its place in the pack isn't as dominant as it believes it is.
No Fear, No Dominance, Just Respect
The best thing you can do if you own a dog with aggressive tendencies is to avoid any situations where the issue could arise in the first place. Take care of your dog and his or her issues before they become bigger problems.
This is not always easy to do, but it's always best if you can avoid putting yourself or someone else in harm's way when dealing with an aggressive dog. If you have a human-aggressive dog, find a professional immediately.