There is nothing scarier than having your favourite pet turn aggressive. Don’t think it is funny if your puppy shows aggression towards other pups, as this can become a grave problem if allowed to continue and you will become frantic to stop dog aggression in your family pet.
It is important to consider the reason why this is happening. Perhaps your dog is not well socialized You may have one or two dogs that get along fine in the backyard and house, but if they rarely go out, when they do see another dog they may become aggressive. So how do you stop dog aggression like this?
Make sure your puppy socializes with other people and dogs as you first step. There are puppy socializing classes held in most large vet clinics and you should take your puppy. When your puppy is three months old you can join a dog obedience group where you should take classes for at least three months. Your dog will not only learn some basic skills, but will also be better socialized with other people and dogs, while listening to your commands.
If you want to stop dog aggression, you can’t just start, then stop this activity. I was obedience training my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and was also using the clicker training method with the young dog Cooper. But as he advanced with the clicker training, I stopped going to obedience classes and did all his training at home. Some time later when I had to take him for a Vet check, he barked madly (though not really aggressively) at other dogs
(which was a real nuisance) and I had to take him back to dog obedience to socialise him. To ensure he remains socialized, I regularly take him back.
Reasons and Solutions for Dog Aggression
You may need to stop dog aggression in a dog that is not neutered. With male hormones running riot, dogs are much more aggressive. Your dog is more likely to be aggressive when he is
guarding you or your property or his territory.
Clearly you need to neuter any dog that begins to show aggression towards other dogs, unless of course you are showing them or want to breed from them. Similarly, if your dog is being protective, you want him to be this way, but you also want him to obey you and you need to be able to stop dog aggression if necessary.
Once you have a well trained dog, you will also have the answer. You are the boss, the leader, the alpha being; and your dog needs to
accept it. If your dog shows any form of aggression (even a low growl) put a stop to it immediately. In aggressive
situations a ‘No’ command will have little or no effect. To stop dog aggression, try growling with your teeth bared; you could get good results if done in the early stages of the behavior. However, you should not have eye contact with a dog if it is acting very aggressively and therefore should not try growling yourself.
Ideas to Stop Dog Aggression
It could also be a good initiative to use a muzzle or one of the special leads and mouth restrainers that are obtainable. These products stop the dog from opening its mouth wide enough to bite and will not hurt your dog. Early training can use these products to stop dog aggression and once you have confidence with your dog on a lead then you can remove them.
If your dog has been trained using food rewards, then food can become a good way to distract him and stop dog aggression. Combining a directive with offering food (which he can see and smell) will get his attention. As soon as he gives you attention, give him the reward. Keep his attention by giving another directive immediately after the first one and this time make him look for the food by dropping it on the ground. He will go to pick it up and begin to focus even more on you. Repeat this process a few times until he has his mind entirely on you and the reward. To understand better there is a book covering how to stop dog aggression to help you.
I really do believe that if you have shown strong leadership qualities from the start and absolutely do not allow even the slightest hint of aggression, in most dogs, the aggression tendencies will vanish. When a breed is ‘hard wired’ to be aggressive e.g. Rottweilers, Dobermans and Pit Bull Terriers you are likely to have trouble training them out of this behavior. Don’t put off getting a professional trainer to help you if you cannot manage yourself.