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Learn to Handle a Territorial Dog

Photo credit: miggell1 / Flickr

Great canine family members are trained in the difference between protection and aggression. Dog owners are wise to teach the dog to control overreactions to people who are unfamiliar in the park, on the sidewalk or in the family home. Rushing the fence with teeth bare while growling ferociously is unacceptable behavior for the dog.

An alert bark is the only acceptable response for the dog to give when the mail/package delivery person arrives, or an unfamiliar person walks by on the sidewalk. Unchecked aggression can lead to serious consequences, if the stranger does not respond appropriately, and the dog bites someone.

According to Best Obedience Training For Dogs, owners should address aggression in the family dog through these specific steps.

Seek to Understand the Dog’s Reactions

Observe the dog’s behaviors when he cannot see you. In the backyard, an aggressive dog will bark at any sound or person who is visible. Squirrels, cats and birds are kept outside the fence boundaries. Anyone who walks close to the fence is greeted with snarls and barks. This dog has decided that he is in control of his territory, you, your family and particular objects.

Canines are pack animals that are now part of a human pack where dominance must be established. Owners must win that battle for the top spot, or alpha-dog position. A dog and his master must learn correction techniques to achieve peace in the household.

Gain the Upper Hand

Confidence in voice tone and body language is the surest way to convey dominance over the family dog. Consistency in your interaction with the canine will provide a framework for his behavior. As a pack leader, you must establish standards for each member. The dog will notice the changes in your approach and his reactions will follow.

Enroll in Obedience Training, Immediately

Professional dog trainers hold classes in almost every community across the country. Various obedience training programs are available to address problems that arise.

In some instances, the dog trainer will recommend some private sessions to teach the owner how to handle the aggressive dog. Interactions with other dogs must be postponed until behaviors are brought under control.

All of the techniques learned in class must be repeated in the home setting. Dogs will not remember what is expected of them without constant reinforcement. Pleasing his master is the dog’s highest priority. Correction will be less effective without constant praise when you notice improvement in the dog’s behavior, reaction and attitude toward others.

Make a Vet Appointment

Physical discomfort can cause the most wonderful dog to lash out when touched. Underlying illnesses can be the reason that a dog who experiences dramatic behavior changes. Broken bones, ingested foreign objects and invisible injuries must be discovered and treated in a timely manner. Veterinarians should be told that the dog is displaying aggressive behavior in certain instances.

Dogs that spend a great deal of time outside can encounter any number of physical injuries that remain unnoticed. A vet appointment is an important part of discovering the reason behind aggression.

Recognize the Early Signs of Aggression

Professional trainers warn dog owners to be aware of the misleading combination of a wagging tail and growling with teeth bared. Dogs that feel insecure in certain situations pose a threat to anyone who reaches out to the dog. Biting a friend or stranger can cause significant problems for the dog owner.

Aggression in the family dog must be taken seriously and addressed early. Younger dogs are able to learn better habits since unwanted patterns have not yet been developed. Owners are responsible for developing the best character traits in every family member. Aggressive dogs are dangerous and must not be tolerated.

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