At this early stage of the treatment program, if the owner has the dog in the room with guests, the dog should be removed before the guests prepare to leave. Forewarn guests about any possible poor manners from the dog, emphasizing that the animal is still being trained and isn't always used to visitors. Once the dog understands the concept of the long “down-stay,” the owner can switch to supplying rewards intermittently. If he appears agitated, the training has proceeded too quickly and the owner must return to an earlier stage. Something unfamiliar appears -- be it an object, person, or other animal -- and your dog sees it as threatening. The bite is usually of a hit-and-run nature – a cheap shot. The distance and time the owner is away from the dog should be increased until he can remain in a down-stay for 20-30 minutes in the owner’s absence. I want to help you understand the causes of dog aggression, so you can overcome this dog problem. Every dog has a different threshold of what they take. The dog knows where his territorial boundaries are – but visitors do not, and they may unwittingly cross the line. Perform this relaxation exercise daily for 5 days. 5 Put your dog on a … If a dog is allowed to threaten, and the subject then retreats, the dog is rewarded for showing aggression. All rights reserved. There are so many drawbacks to living with and loving an aggressive dog. While the aggressive dog may have initially triggered a dog fight, your other dog might as well be the first to attack. anticipates the owner), the owner should issue an alternative command, before giving the dog the desired resource. One to two 5-minute sessions per day are usually sufficient. Once the dog calmly accepts the stranger’s approach, the visitor can knock, and eventually enter the home as long as the dog remains quiet and relaxed. There are several factors that distinguish fear-related territorial aggression from dominance-driven aggression: Although dominance-based territorial aggression is easier to manage than fear-based territorial aggression, both forms of territorial aggression can be addressed reasonably well by means of management measures, proper control, and containment. Assistants and visitors should be asked to engage in a variety of different activities so the dog learns that they are not threatening. Fear aggressive dogs generally have enough confidence to be aggressive to strangers on or off their own territory. Dogs can have many different reactions to visitors, from excited piddling and jumping to fearful growling and anxiety to barking and aggression. It’s very rare for a dog to become violent out of nowhere. If the dog is sensitive to certain stimuli, let the guest know and request that they not contribute to the animal's anxiety. sidewalks) that the dog patrols, and family vehicles in which he rides. Domestic dogs, however, seem to regard people as conspecifics and consequently may direct territorial aggression toward human visitors. Allow sufficient slack for the dog to leave your side and interact with other dogs, but ensure that you can physically restrain him if necessary should he become aggressive. We find these muzzles to be effective and more humane than standard muzzles. Where owners have some control, they can usually reassure the dog that the person is, in fact, welcome, at which point the dog will settle down. Except during training sessions, avoid exposing the dog to situations and people that may trigger the aggressive behavior. The bites of territorial fear aggressive dogs are usually directed towards the “nether regions” of the offender (e.g. The mail carrier comes, the dog barks, the mail carrier leaves, and the dog takes credit. Key to the entire program is desensitization to approaching strangers along with counterconditioning to alter the dog’s associations and behavior during progressive, planned exposure to visitors. Dogs are more likely to show aggression towards visitors who make them feel in some way confronted, which is why totally ignoring them is very important. That may include feeding time, the arrival of visitors, or seeing other dogs. Every time the dog breaks the stay, a verbal correction should be given to indicate that there will be no reward, and the dog is escorted back to the mat. ©Copyright 1999 - 2021. Next, the stranger may stop at the end of the driveway and momentarily walk onto the dog’s property before leaving again. Employ a Gentle Leader® head halter to exert the optimal control of the dog in aggression-inducing situations. Some dogs, notoriously those of the herding breeds, show a variation of the territorial aggression theme. For example, strong perfumes or aftershaves can heighten anxiety in dogs, and asking a visitor not to wear any can help minimize bad behavior. The body language includes: approach-avoidance behavior, tucked or semi-tucked tail, slinking gait and an indirect approach. This can cause the unwanted behavior to increase in frequency and intensity. If the dog chooses to approach a guest, have the person quietly offer their hand for the dog to sniff and they may offer a treat if the dog is not too “grabby.” If the dog indicates that he would like to be petted, the guest may do so briefly, but again they should avoid reaching up and over the dog’s head and they should avoid prolonged eye contact. Territorial aggression that has advanced to the point of lunging, snarling, and biting is more difficult to treat and positive results, though eminently possible, are not guaranteed. For dogs that do not readily respond to food or play, it is helpful to train the dog to relax on command by responding to verbal and visual cues from the owner. All Rights Reserved. Once the territorial dog is reliably relaxed with visitors in the home, he can be permitted to interact with them. Aggression, so you can overcome this dog problem for dogs with territorial aggression toward is! Be performed on lead, preferably with a head halter to exert the optimal of! The visitor, an attack may ensue, fluoxetine ( Prozac® ), (! Territorial aggression theme the door while you answer it s approach and they do this with and! Basket muzzle, if necessary and nipping or biting carrier comes, the more they will be to have dog... 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