Dogs are naturally kind, loving, and loyal creatures, which is why they are one of the most sought-after pets. Because of this, dogs are not naturally aggressive or vicious, and if they are, then chances are something has happened in their past to make them that way. With the proper dog aggression training, our Fort Collins team can help your dog to overcome the burden of aggression.
Our first step when it comes to helping your dog recover is doing our best to discover what happened in the dog’s life to make him act out in this way. There are several causes of dog aggression, which we have listed below, and almost every kind is correctable, with the exception of predatory aggression, which comes with the breed of dog and its instincts. With this type of aggression, we work with the owner and the dog in order to manage the instincts so that aggressive behavior is not a hinderance to either your life or your dog’s.
In addition, while we can do our best to adjust behavior, it ultimately comes down to the owner’s commitment to following our instructions with their dog. You play an essential role in your dog’s reactions to situations and are, thus, an important element in their training.
TYPES OF AGGRESSION IN DOGS
Aggressive behavior in dogs is almost always misdiagnosed. Instead, owners are inclined to make up excuses for their dog’s behavior such as, “my dog just doesn’t like other dogs.” Dogs are not built to hate other dogs, people with hats on, males, or any other specific situation. Instead, they react out of feelings of entitlement, fear, and possessiveness, among others, and understanding why your dog is acting the way he is is a fundamental toward providing him with the right training. These are the types of dog aggression that we diagnose and train:
DOG AGGRESSION IS COMMON
Even though aggression is not a natural response for dogs, it is extremely common in our society. Almost 90 percent of the time, we see that aggression in dogs is due to poor socialization, mostly because the owner did not know better. In these cases, the dog doesn’t know how to react to a situation because they’ve had limited experience and they make overall generalizations about every situation based on this limited experience. Luckily, this type is one of the easiest forms of aggression to correct, and our professionals at Fort Collins Dog Wizard understand how to do it best.
One example of a dog aggression issue that is a result of a lack of socialization is a young puppy who was attacked by an older dog. If this dog was only the first, second, or even third dog that the puppy ever met, then the puppy automatically makes an association that all dogs are bad because one-third of them have attacked him. As a result, the puppy will grow up believing that he should be afraid of other dogs, and the puppy’s nervousness encourages the owner to avoid socializing him with other dogs, which makes the situation worse. However, if the puppy is exposed to many friendly dogs, then the one bad incident fades until it is forgotten.
Another situation we commonly see is a dog that has grown and the owner stopped socializing them. However, just as with humans, dogs have to practice a skill in order to maintain it, and social skills are one of the most important ones to keep fresh. If your dog used to love being around other dogs, but has been showing more aggression or anxiety toward them later in life, chances are that they are suffering from a lack of socialization. In addition, just as with humans, dogs require a different set of social skills in order to react positively to dogs that are strangers to them. If your dog is simply practicing the same social skills with the same dogs, then he is probably not well-socialized.
Almost all social-related aggression in dogs is a result of the anxiety caused by an unfamiliar situation. If this is the case, then your dog is acting out of fear, even if they seem to be the instigators. In fact, dogs are designed to go on the offense when they are feeling defensive, which means that if your dog acts out first, it is essential for us to find the source of his anxiety.
Unlike other dog trainers, we work with the dogs on a more personal level, trying to learn whether their aggression is fear-based or is stems from some other factor. In this way, we are able to help them to understand how to be more comfortable in every situation so that they never feel the need to attack out of anxiety. Because it is important that they are just as comfortable at the park as they are at your home, we gradually begin training your dog in increasingly stressful situations so that you can be confident that your furry friend will react well no matter what.
Your dog doesn’t want to feel this way, and you don’t want a dog that you have to worry about. With your participation and our professional dog aggression training, together we can help your dog break free from his aggression and start to live a happier, more fulfilling life. Contact our specialists today and start imagining the life you and your dog could live without the fear of aggression.