If your dog is on the aggressive side, you’re probably a little apprehensive about bringing him/her around other dogs. Even daily walks can be intimidating because if your dog misbehaves with another dog in passing, it could lead to serious consequences.
Rather than fearing for your dogs and other dog’s safety, let’s first learn why your dog may be aggressive. Then, we’ll look at some safe steps that you can take to introduce your dog to socialization slowly.
Why is My Dog Aggressive?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. There are a lot of factors that could play a role in how your dog behaves with others. First of all, your dog should start socializing with others between 4 and 14 weeks to prevent them from developing aggressive behaviors.
During these first few weeks, make sure anyone who comes in contact with your puppy is kindly interacting with them. Be wary of using harsh discipline during these times, because it could increase their chances of becoming aggressive towards others. Also, some breeds are naturally more aggressive than others. The myth that altering the dog changes their temperament is exactly that. Spaying and neutering almost always does not to stop/change aggression. And sometimes a pregnant dog can tend to be naturally more aggressive.
Overall, there are quite a few reasons why your dog may be more aggressive. There are many types of aggression with many causes and the treatment can only be successful if the diagnosis is correct. Often, the aggression is not your fault. As long as you know that your dog is more aggressive, and you’re educating yourself on how to socialize them correctly, you’re off to a great start.
Understanding Your Dog’s Triggers
Triggers are the things that “set your dog off.” This could be anything from men to the sound of an alarm. Finding out what makes your dog upset is the most important part of resolving the behavior and learning how to socialize with others safely.
Once you learn the triggers, you can start working on gradual lying, exposing your dog to them. Of course, it has to be in a way in which he/she will begin to become more comfortable until they no longer become a threat.
Introducing Your Pet to Others
An excellent way to start socializing your dog is to take them on daily walks. Eventually, your dog may begin to recognize the people and other dogs that live in your neighborhood. They may eventually become less aggressive the more that they familiarize themselves with others. Of course, a few bad experiences in the neighborhood could make your dog’s aggression as well, so be careful to keep things positive and upbeat.
It’s never too late to start socializing your dog with others, a safe and controlled way to start. Plus, as your pet gets more exercise, he/she will feel more submissive and calm, so encounters are more likely to go more smoothly.
Make Changes to Your Behavior
There are a lot of ways to change your behavior to help your dog. Your dog has a pretty good read on you, so when you become nervous or scared, they can sense it. There are many lifestyle changes that you can make to help calm down your dog. Your attitude travels down the leash to the dog. If you’re nervous, he senses that. If you’re stressed, she senses that.
Some examples include:
- Taking your dog out during a quieter part of the day.
- Leave your dog be while they are eating their food.
- Cross the street or move when you see your dog’s triggers.
You want to control when your dog sees their triggers. Controlled interactions will help your dog adjust more quickly.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
Sometimes, even when you follow these tips and remain very cautious during exposure, your dog may still be more aggressive then you’d like. If you ever come to a halt, where you don’t know what steps to take next, it’s best to seek advice from a professional dog trainer. Some veterinarians can help as well but most vets know little about actual training.
How to Take The Correct Steps to Socialize an Aggressive Dog
If you’ve hit a roadblock with your dog’s aggression, give us a call. At Conifer Canine, we are a school for dogs, dog trainers, puppy obedience, police dog training, and handlers. Contact us today at 812-650-2394 to learn more about our services!