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Aggressive Dog Training Tips — With and Without Hiring a Professional Trainer

how-to-train-an-aggressive-dog

Your and your family’s safety is always our highest priority. So, before we get into how to train an aggressive dog, a disclaimer: If you have a highly aggressive dog that bites or threatens to harm someone, seek the help of a professional trainer and your vet. Make sure your dog doesn’t have an underlying medical condition that’s causing him or her to be aggressive. 

Whether you are training your dog on your own or using a trainer, you can use The BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device to help stop unwanted doggie behaviors. That’s what we’ll cover in this article, as well as answers to these common questions:

  • What if my sweet dog suddenly becomes aggressive?
  • How do I introduce an aggressive dog to a new person?
  • Why is my dog aggressive toward one person (and no one else)?
  • How do I socialize an aggressive dog?

Aggressive Dog Behavior Training

Dog aggression is common and not a specific “dangerous breed” issue, contrary to popular beliefs. Dealing with an anxious aggressive dog, whether it is yours, a rescue dog, or a stray, is scary and frustrating because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this problem. With that said, there are a few things you can do that may help diffuse the situation. 

To address aggressive behavior and calm an aggressive dog, you need to understand the reason(s) behind a dog’s aggression. While biting can be the ultimate aggressive dog behavior, aggression includes growling, showing teeth, and lunging. If your dog displays these behaviors, you may be asking why my dog is aggressive?

If your dog is aggressive toward other dogs, it could be territorial or another underlying reason.

Even the gentlest of dogs will likely show aggression during their lifespan, as dogs face unique situations, like meeting new dogs and people. Dog aggression is normal behavior. Chronic, excessive, and persistent aggression, however, is not normal.

Continuous or worsening aggression may indicate the need for behavioral therapy with a professional behavior expert, or, if it’s a health-related issue, medical attention from your veterinarian.

As you learn how to stop aggressive behavior in your dogs, try your best to stay calm. As difficult as that may be, never yell at an aggressive dog because this could worsen the situation. A dog can feed off its owner’s emotions, so you don’t want to add fuel to the fire. Although every dog and scenario is different, you can take a few steps to minimize a dog’s aggressiveness.

How to Train Aggressive Dogs

How to make your dog less aggressive? Here are a few things to keep in mind. The simplest way to curb aggression is to avoid your pet’s triggers. However, that’s easier said than done. If your dog is aggressive toward strangers, how do you invite new friends for dinner?

Aggressive small dogs vs big aggressive dogs

We also realize that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to training aggressive dogs, especially when they vary in size. A small aggressive dog might be easier to deal with than a large aggressive dog. Removing a small dog from a triggering situation tends to be physically easier than picking up and crating a giant dog, for example. 

No matter what size your dog is or what you’re training your dog to do, be consistent and practice patience. Incorporate the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool into your dog training, along with our train, treat, repeat approach to dog training.

You can use the BarxBuddy to ward off aggressive strays or loose dogs that you meet on the street.

Using ultrasonic trainers on aggressive dogs

The BarxBuddy emits a high pitch sound that goes undetected by the human ear. However, dogs can hear certain high-frequency noises such as those emitted by the BarxBuddy. The sound causes the dog to stop whatever he’s doing. If your dog becomes aggressive, make sure The Barxuddy device is within 50 feet of your dog and press the button for one second, then release.

You’ll know it worked when you see the light on the device go on, and the dog’s behavior immediately ceases. Repeat if necessary, until you get your dog’s attention. Here’s your chance to give a command like “no” or “down” or “quiet,” and redirect your dog’s focus. You have to be consistent. Stop the behavior right away every time your dog behaves aggressively because if you ignore the behavior, you inadvertently reinforce it.

Taking the BarxBuddy with you when you are out and about can help you deter aggressive dogs on the loose. To ward off an aggressive dog while walking, make sure you are within 50 feet of the animal. Slide the light button toward the II setting and point it toward the animal to activate the flashing light and the ultrasonic sound. Each time the dog re-starts its aggressive behavior, press the button.

Aggressive Dog Training Tips

What if my sweet dog suddenly becomes aggressive?

What if it’s your dog becoming aggressive? If your normally calm and tranquil dog is suddenly aggressive to other dogs in the house — or, worse, toward you and your family — it’s time to consider health-related issues. Your dog could have an underlying condition like ear infection or toothache. Watch for additional signs like loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Discuss these signs and concerns with your vet to rule out illness as the cause of your dog’s sudden aggressiveness.

Once you’ve ruled out underlying health issues, you can use the training tips that we outlined in earlier this article.

How do I introduce an aggressive dog to a new person?

Remember, you’re in control. You’re top dog. This might seem obvious, but we often see dog owners giving in to aggressive dog behaviors or adjusting their own behaviors to appease their dogs. Guess what that teaches the dog? He or she is the alpha dog.

Leash your pet before meeting a new guest or provide your pet his own space (perhaps delineated with a doggy gate) between him and your company. These protective steps can ensure your dog doesn’t run and jump on someone. Greet your guest, then allow your pet to greet the guest (sniff the guest), which should let your dog know that your guest is not a threat. Encourage calm behavior with basic obedience commands like sit and stay. Any time your dog shows desired behavior like remaining calm when a new person enters a room, immediately reward the behavior.

Why is my dog aggressive toward one person (and no one else)?

If you notice your dog is aggressive towards one person, it could be pheromones the person gives off. A dog pretty much knows what humans should smell like. However, someone’s scent could indicate a threat or fear to a dog, causing him to dislike that particular person. A dog may also be sensitive to someone who wears an abundance of perfume or cologne, which can confuse them because it masks a person’s natural scent. 

If your dog is aggressive toward one person in particular it could be because:

  • They remind your dog of someone who mistreated them.
  • They (your friend or family member) could have scared your dog.
  • They’re being territorial over you (which can seem like the human trait of jealousy).

To nip this in the bud, let your “unpopular” friend or family member feed your dog or offer them treats. Encourage the two of them to play together with a favorite toy. Practice patience and the training techniques we outline on this page to curb aggressive behaviors.

How do I socialize an aggressive dog?

My dog is aggressive, how do I socialize him? Early exposure to different people and situations helps develop a happy well-rounded adult dog. However, if you welcome an adult dog into your home, socializing him may take some extra time and effort. Daily walks are a win-win, as they can help keep your pet fit and introduce him to a world of sights, smells, people, and other animals. Changing up the route you take can further enhance his eagerness to investigate and grow accustomed to unique and unusual experiences.

Other options for socializing your pet include obedience classes and visiting dog parks. As you socialize, pay attention to your dog’s behavior, when he displays desired behavior, immediately reward. If he reacts negatively take note of the trigger and try avoiding it the next time.

How to fix an aggressive dog has no easy answer. It depends on the dog, the dog handler, and the situation. Regardless of your training or treatment path remember the key components;  time, consistency, and patience.