Dog Training Tips:Treating Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Aggressive behavior is a natural tendency in dogs but must be controlled for the safety of humans and other animals.

Dogs have a natural instinct for aggressive behavior. Growling, biting, snapping, nipping and lunging are normal dog behavior, but it is not acceptable for pets who are companion animals. The safety and of humans and other pets should have first priority, and dogs who exhibit aggression should be taught to behave appropriately.

Aggression is a common problem and the first step toward solving the problem is to consult your veterinarian. Pain or other underlying physical conditions may cause a usually docile dog to snap or bite. A dog who has a sore limb due to arthritis might snarl at a child who inadvertently causes pain. Hypothyroidism, a low level of the thyroid hormone, can cause a dog to become anxious. Medical treatment may alleviate the condition and return the dog to his mellow self. If medical problems are ruled out the vet may refer you to a behaviorist who will evaluate your dog's behavior and develop a plan to moderate the behavior.

There are many reasons a dog may become aggressive. Some breeds are genetically predisposed for aggressive behavior. Early life experiences, hormonal surges, gender, physiological state, and external stimuli can all play a role in creating an aggressive personality. Unfortunately some owners actually encourage aggressive behavior in their dogs, perhaps to compensate for their own inadequacies.

The owner should keep a journal of the dog's behavior when he shows aggression. Knowing what appears to cause the behavior, how often it occurs, who the behavior is directed toward and the specific behavior (growling, biting, snapping) will help the behaviorist determine the dog's motivation and pattern of behavior. Videotaping the incidents may be helpful. Many dogs who aggressively protect their territory may not exhibit such behavior at the vet's office or when with the behaviorist.

Dominance-related aggression is the most common type. Dogs are pack animals, and they are not democratic! Dogs have their own social rules and established hierarchy within the pack. Household dogs consider the family their pack and may direct their aggression toward family members and other pets. Dogs usually accept adults as their pack leader but may consider children "litter mates" and try to dominate them.

Owning two or more dogs who are similar in breed, age, size, and gender (such as brothers from the same litter) can cause aggression that is similar to "sibling rivalry." Competing for attention and their place in the family "pack" can cause them to fight among themselves.

Adult males in the same household will often fight for dominance or territory, but two females may fight as well. Dogs of opposite gender will get along much better in the same household. It may be necessary to keep same-sex dogs separated. Owners may unwittingly add to the problem by coming to the defense of the subordinate dog. This encourages the subordinate dog to be bold enough to challenge the alpha dog. Support the alpha dog's position in the "pack" by feeding him first, greeting him first, or letting him out the door first. This isn't our human idea of "fairness" but it is one dogs will understand.

In multiple dog households, feed dogs separately if they tend to fight over food. Never step in to separate dogs who are fighting. Distract them with a loud noise, a spray of water, or a blanket thrown over them. Exert your authority as leader of the pack and calmly but firmly intervene when you can tell a fight is about to start. Give them the message, as you would your own children, that you don't care who started it, just knock it off!

Territorial aggression is directed toward people or animals who are not part of the family. Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their territory, owners, and family members. Many people own dogs for the security and protection they offer, but overly aggressive dogs may harm visitors or prevent emergency medical personnel from administering aid not to mention the scare they can give the poor mailman! Prevent such territorial behavior by properly socializing your new puppy so he doesn't view strangers and other animals as a threat.

Aggression may also be fear-induced. Some dogs are just naturally more anxious and jumpy. Loud noises and noisy, active children may upset them. Fearful dogs may also be created by owners who treat them harshly, physically punish them, crate them inappropriately, or by other adverse life experiences. When approached a fearful dog will fold his ears back, tuck his tail, and try to escape. If escape isn't possible (being chained up or cornered) he is very likely to bite.

Fearful dogs may be treated with anti anxiety medication or desensitization therapy. A dog who is afraid of strangers may be taken out to the park on a leash on several occasions. Gradually bring the dog closer to strangers, but never close enough to cause an extreme reaction. Don't reassure the dog when he acts fearful; this only reinforces the behavior. Ignore such behavior and praise him when he acts with confidence.

Maternal aggression occurs when the litter of a mother dog is approached. This is an understandable protective instinct and doesn't necessarily need treatment, unless the mother is overly aggressive. She's doing what nature intends by protecting her young. Teach the kids to respect this maternal instinct and leave those cute puppies alone!

Females experiencing false pregnancy may also become snappish. In the case of aggression caused by hormonal surges, spaying or neutering may reduce the problem.

Aggression may be redirected from one source to another. A dominant dog who is barking out the window at a cat in the yard and is pulled away by the owner may direct his aggression at another dog in the household.

Take steps to ensure the safety of your family, friends and visitors until you are able to get treatment for your dog. A comfortable basket-style muzzle that allows the dog to drink and eat but not bite may be necessary. Never allow children to be with the dog without supervision, or keep the dog in a separate room. Teach children to treat dogs with respect, to never tease or hurt them, and to leave dogs alone when they are eating, sleeping, or chewing on a bone or toy.

Keep the dog on a leash at all times. In the house the dog should wear a buckle collar with a thin nylon lead attached that the dog can drag around. This will give you a measure of control without handling the dog and risking your own safety. A head collar will give even better control. Do not physically punish a dog at any time. This creates a fearful dog who mistrusts humans and worsens the aggressive behavior.

Recognize situations that create aggression and when you feel such a situation may arise interrupt with a distraction such as an incompatible command ("down-stay"), play time, or a food treat. Adequate exercise and obedience training can help control a dog's natural tendency toward aggressive behavior.

Treatment and behavior therapy may reduce the severity and frequency of the aggressive behavior but will probably not eliminate it altogether. The behavior may seem to be modified and then return. The owner must consider the safety of himself, his family, other pets and people the dog may encounter. Dogs who pose a serious threat to the safety of others may need to be put down.

- By J. E. Davidson

Dog Training Tips and Tricks - Recall Training Your Dog

This article gives you tips, tricks and sound advice on recalling training your dog.

Do you have to keep an eagle eye on Buddy when you’re bringing in the groceries or answer a knock on your door? Is he just itching to make a mad dash for the great outdoors whenever the door is opened? If he makes his escape, does he fail to come back when called? If so, don’t despair, Buddy needs recall training.

Having a dog that comes the first time you call him is a rare thing. More often, it is the product of a grueling training schedule; repetition, rewards; repetition rewards. You probably know the scenario by now. If not, you have a lot to learn.

Before you throw your hands up in defeat and make Buddy wear his leash both indoors and out, or risk losing him to the dangers of the street, consider recall training.

Recall training has two basic concepts. The first is to treat your dog well each time he comes to you. Be it a kind word, a pat on the head, or a scratch behind the ears, Buddy will relish the affection you show him.

The second concept takes much more effort. Purchase a line that measures ten to twenty feet. Clip it onto Buddy’s collar and take him to the park or into the yard. Then, start training.

The line allows Buddy to put some distance between you. When Buddy has ventured almost to the end of his line, call him. A simple, “Buddy come,” will suffice. Be sure to have lots of treats in your pocket just in case he shocks you and comes immediately. If he does come, give him a treat. The worst scenario is that you will have to reel in the line to make him come. With this method, Buddy is responsible for his own behavior, but you still have control over the situation if he doesn’t obey.

If Buddy sits perfectly still when you give the “come” command, or watches birds and squirrels playing in a nearby tree, he hasn’t obeyed. Either reel him in, or go and get him and bring him to the spot where you gave the command. If this is the case, Buddy gets no reward, but no punishment either. Down play the incident and try again later.

The next time you try recall training, follow the same agenda. Never repeat the “come” command. Buddy should come the first time he’s called. If not, reel him in or go and get him and take him to where you gave the command. Down play the incident and try again later. Do this again and again and… well, you get the picture. Repetition is the name of the game. The process is long. It may take a week, a month, a year or more of constant recall training before Buddy gets it right and comes on your first command every time. But…diligence pays off and in time when you say, “come,” Buddy will obey.

In the meantime recall training will have its ups and downs. There will be times when Buddy will come. When this happens, give him a treat, rub his head, and scratch his ears and say, “good boy,” or some thing similar. Whatever else you do, reward his obedience immediately. He’ll soon get the message that obedience reaps rewards and affection.

Above all, never scream, yell, or hit Buddy if he doesn’t obey. If you do, it will set your training efforts back to day one. Buddy will fear you and instead of coming on command, he will put more distance between the two of you. When he doesn’t obey simply go to him, grasp his collar and gently take him to where you gave the command. This lets him know you are ready to enforce your commands and that he has no choice but to obey.

If you run into problems and Buddy just won’t obey, seek the services of a professional dog trainer. It may cost a bit, but a professional will be able to point out where you’re going wrong. It’s well worth the expense to know that Buddy will respond to your commands. This ensures that he will always be safe, so you can enjoy each others company for many years to come.

Dog Care - Who Does Your Dog Think He Is?

A tongue-in-cheek discussion of having and understanding a dog

Some dog owners insist that their dogs think they're people. There really could be something to this. When we think that dogs are chasing cars, maybe they're actually chasing ambulances because they think they're lawyers. We've always discouraged dogs from car chasing. Lately, this has become more important than ever with the possibility of your dog catching a Smart car. Obviously, the worst case scenario would be your dog catching a Smart car driven by a lawyer.

Hopefully, you don't live next door to a toy poodle who thinks he's Pavarotti. If people want a pet with a voice that high, why not just get a bird? As a rule of thumb a dog's too small if he has to stand on a phone book to drink from a toilet. Small dogs in posh neighborhoods are so stuck up they'll only drink from a toilet if there's no bidet. If you happen to meet such a dog on the street, be polite. Resist the temptation to ask if he's afraid of real dogs. On the other hand, the advantage of toy poodles is that they can be caught with Velcro.

Maybe the dog's “finding himself” because he's still a puppy. By the way, if you'll be house-training him with newspaper, don't forget to clip the coupons first. Some puppies become paper trained very quickly. The real challenge is grasping the difference between newspaper and wallpaper.

Pet dentistry is getting very popular. It may be hard to take it seriously if you're still trying to get your kids to brush after meals, but your vet will expect you to brush your dog's teeth. Couldn't somebody just invent a fluoride Frisbee?

Regardless of who your dog thinks he is, you'll probably want to train him. If you're teaching him to catch, you may want to start with pieces of liver. Some people can put a biscuit on their dog's nose, and the dog won't take it till the owner gives a spoken signal. Initially, this works better if the dog's sleeping. Dogs can also be taught conditioned response. At the sound of a bell, they salivate. At the sound of a bath running, they actually spit. Most dogs have the ability to eat on command, which is not great if that's all there is to show from the $200 spent at obedience school. But it's worth some effort, because a smart dog will bring you a paper every day. A really smart dog will get it from next door.

Dogs will definitely learn, though. When a dog wants to go for a walk, he gets his leash. When he wants to eat, he lights the barbecue. Dogs like people food, but it shouldn't become a habit. If you're a good cook, your dog will beg. If you're a bad cook he'll beg, specifically to go for a walk. You know you burned a burger badly when you drop it on patio stones and the dog puts it back on your plate with his paws.

There may come a time when you decide on some family planning for your canine Casanova. Unless your dog's a part of a controlled breeding environment, you'll probably want to get him neutered. Dogs seem to be able to understand a great deal of what we say, so if you're in front of him, don't refer to him as being “fixed.” After all from his point of view, he was never “broken.” If you want to be sensitive to his condition, you could refer to his surgical alteration as his “vasectomy.”

People who love their dogs demonstrate it by buying toys, clothes and specialty food for them. But know when to draw the line. Love your dog, but don't throw him birthday parties. He'll just think you're a jerk for only remembering every seventh one.

Dog Training - Boundary Training For Dogs

How would you like to be able to trust your dog to stay in the areas you designate, indoors or out? You can train your dog to respect the boundaries you set with this simple method.

Imagine how convenient it would be to trust your dog to stay within the boundaries you set! In the house, your ideal pet would go only in the rooms or areas you’ve designated. No more copious pet hair in the bedroom or muddy prints on your best rug. Outdoors, your well-behaved pooch would stay in the yard or a special part of the yard. The dog would keep away from the road and leave your garden alone. Sound too good to be true? It’s not only possible to train your dog to respect boundaries; it’s actually a fairly easy process!

As with any complex behavior, boundary training relies on the lessons learned early in puppyhood. Basic obedience training is a must. Your dog needs to have a foundation of respect for you, the owner. It must understand the simple commands “no,” “come,” “sit,” and “stay.” Ideally, the dog should also be trained to heel and walk on a leash. These basic skills can become the necessary tools that will allow you to train the dog about boundaries, indoors or out.

Most families have areas of the house that they’d like to declare “off limits” to pets. These may include bedrooms, food preparation areas, or carpeted rooms. Ideally, you will make these decisions before the dog ever sets foot in the house. It’s much easier for everyone if you decide where the dog is allowed and which parts of the house will be declared as dog-free zones. If you can make these decisions before your pet comes home to live, your dog is less likely to become puzzled and confused. It is also less likely to challenge your authority and test the limits vigorously.

To train your dog, you need to start by barricading or closing off the areas that are off limits. You can use furniture, large pieces of plywood, or baby gates, as well as existing doors or other strategies. It’s important that your dog never have access to these areas when you are occupied elsewhere. The idea is to praise your pet for staying in bounds and eliminate any choice for misbehavior from the start. Of course, with time and training, you will be able to remove the physical barriers as you come to trust that your pet will not break training when your back is turned.

When you are ready, choose a time for a lesson when you feel calm and patient. You’ll want to be completely focused on the task at hand. Remove the barrier but keep the dog under control. Use a leash if need be. Keep the dog in its designated area while you praise and pet it. Make being in the right place a positive experience.

Gradually allow your dog more freedom. Lengthen the leash or stand a bit farther away. When the dog wanders across the boundary, respond firmly with the correction methods you used for other training. For example, you could pull back on the leash, reprimand the dog, or physically restrain it. Be consistent! Each and every time the dog crosses the boundary, you will need to apply correction immediately. With time and patience, you should be able to give the dog verbal correction from across the room and eventually you will be able to trust it to stay on the right side of the boundary. Consistency is your most powerful tool, so be sure to catch the dog each time the boundary is inadvertently crossed. If your dog is allowed to stray even once, you may set up a situation where the dog tries to see what it can get away with. You must convince the animal that you always know when the boundary is crossed and that you will always respond with corrective measures.

Training a dog to outdoor boundaries requires a bit more patience and effort. As with indoor boundaries, it’s important to choose the area where you want the dog to stay in advance. It will make training much easier if your dog has never been allowed beyond the boundaries in the first place rather than having to unlearn what was previously acceptable. You’ll also need to make sure that you can see the boundary clearly. It will not help the dog if you use a different boundary each time you train! Finally, make sure your dog is on a leash without fail whenever it is taken outside of the boundary area. The leash will become a signal that special permission has been given to cross the boundary.

Put the dog on the leash and keep it in the “heel” position. Walk all the way around the area where the dog is allowed, keeping it just inside of the boundary. Make several circuits during each training session. When your dog is cooperating, loosen the leash a bit. If the dog strays over the boundary, apply your correction sequence. As with training to indoor boundaries, the idea is to convince the dog that stepping over that line leads to correction.

Gradually allow more and more freedom while keeping the dog on the leash. When the animal has been respecting the boundaries on your walks around the edge of the area, give it free rein and allow it to lead you on the leash. Continue correction when the boundary is crossed. Use a longer lead and continue training in this manner. When your dog remains within the boundary consistently and without error, try leaving it off of the lead for short periods while you are paying close attention. Needless to say, the dog must be well-trained to come or sit on command so that if the boundary is crossed, you can still maintain control and can return the dog easily to the correct area.

Many young dogs will train to boundaries fairly easily and quickly, but will break training when provoked or excited. You will need to guard against this by watching carefully whenever your dog is outdoors so that you can instantly return the animal to the correct area and apply correction. Common causes for crossing boundary lines include chasing cars, visitors, bicycles, joggers, or other animals. Be sure that you are watching carefully so that you can prevent your pet from frightening or bothering others, or from getting hurt in traffic.

As the dog matures, consistent boundary training will pay great dividends. You will be able to place increasing amounts of trust in the dog’s obedience and will eventually get to the point that you can rely that the boundaries will not be crossed even when you are not right there to supervise. The dog will enjoy the freedom of roaming in the areas that you designate, and you will have the peace of mind to know that your dog is safe and where it belongs.

Dog Behavior - Protecting Your Dogs While Traveling by Car

Your dog should learn the proper behavior for riding in a car so that he will not become a distraction and a danger to the other passengers in the car.

Dogs need to learn the proper behavior for traveling in a car. After all, not only do you want your dog to enjoy his ride, but also, you want to make sure that he is safe. Additionally, you want your dog to learn the proper behavior for riding in a car so that he will not become a distraction and a danger to the other passengers in the car.

The most successful way to teach this is to be consistent from the very beginning. Always use the same method for restraining your dog so that he learns that will be his place while traveling by car. If your dog understands what you expect of him while traveling in the car, he will be happy to oblige.

The simplest way to restrain your pet is to use a harness that has been designed for use in the car. It allows the dog owner to clip his pet to one of the seatbelts in the back seat. If you plan to have the dog in your car on a regular basis, you might want to consider getting a special window guard. The guards are designed to allow your dog, or other pets, to have access to fresh air without any risk for injury. The window guards prevent your pet from falling or jumping out of the window.

If your dog is small, a collapsible cage that fits easily into most cars is an excellent choice. The cage needs to be placed on a flat surface to provide your pet with a smooth and safe ride.

If, on the other hand, your dog is large, you can consider getting a divider that will separate the car into an area for human passengers and one for animals. If the car does not have a hatchback or open access trunk such as those found in station wagons, you can always separate the front seat from the back seat. When placing the divider in the car, make sure that it is secure and will not become loose with a little activity or jostling.

No matter how you decide to secure your dog for traveling by car, it’s important to do so. A dog that is permitted free access to the car can easily become a distraction or a hindrance to the driver. Additionally, shop around and look at the different models and styles that you have to select from among to get the option that best suits your needs.

A Guide to the Dog Clubs of America

by Randy Hemsley

There are quite a few clubs and associations in the United States devoted to the love of dogs and dogs themselves. Some are comprised of owners' groups just looking to get together for off-leash events, training exhibitions, obedience training, or other casual events. But there are others, like the American Kennel Club, that are closely managed and mainly for breed registration. Keep reading for a simple guide to the major dog associations in North America.

The primary and perhaps best known is the American Kennel Club (AKC), which deals only with purebred dogs. Basically, the AKC is simply a registry of breeds and dog pedigrees. Aside from purebred registration, the AKC also holds regular events and dog shows. To register your dog with the AKC, both the dog's parents must be registered and within the same breed. It can be an expensive and arduous process, but ultimately necessary if you are planning to enter your dog in show competition or using it for breeding purposes.

The AKC also supports its Foundation Stock Service (FSS). These are breeds, like the American English Coonhound, that are not quite yet fully recognized by the AKC, but are on their way. Dogs from the FSS breeds can be registered, but they can't earn championship points at AKC events.

For dogs with less illustrious backgrounds, the American Mixed Breed Organization (AMBOR) is a wonderful registry for dogs of mixed breed backgrounds. It enables them to compete in obedience and agility competitions like the popular SuperDog events. Founded in 1983, AMBOR is about dogs earning titles through ability and training, not patronage.

Membership is open to all dogs of any background, other than wolf hybrids, as long as the pet is neutered or spayed and the nails are properly trimmed. To register your dog with AMBOR, you'll need to submit front and side photographs along with the application papers. From there, each competition your dog participates in, his tallies and scores will be automatically added to his record and entered into the nationwide obedience ranking system.

Purebred dogs are also welcome as members of AMBOR, but their entry is limited to the agility-specific programs and competitions. Dogs that are purebred, as in registered with the AKC or Canadian Kennel Club, are not eligible for the obedience or agility scoring systems. This means they won't appear on the web site highlights and can't qualify for mixed-breed national competition.

Dog Training Resources

Kingdom Of Pets
Dog obedience training by sitstayfetch. Learn how to obedience train your dog effectively to stop your dogs behavior problems.

Dog Food Secrets
Increase the lifespan of your dog by up to 134%.

Dove Cresswell's Puppy and Dog Training Online
Dog Training Online offers dog training, puppy training, dog obedience training, puppy house training and dog house training, puppy potty training, crate training, dog potty training, crate training a puppy.

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For information on practical dog necessities, please visit, a popular site providing great insights concerning issues that help you with dog care, such as dog training products , dog medical supplies , and much more.

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Use Some Of Those Dog Training Skills To Help Teach Your Dog To Sit

by Chris Simpson

Anyone who has experienced the thrill of teaching a dog new tricks knows exactly what it takes to get their dog to listen to their commands and it usually does work too. It is very exciting when you finally start to see the results from using your dog training techniques on your dog and it will motivate you to continue working with them to teach them even more. Instead of having a dog that just sits around doing nothing, you could have a dog that is totally fit to be involved in dog shows or anything else interesting such as that. One of the easiest commands to teach a dog would have to be, to sit. Teaching your dog to sit should come pretty easy, if you are consistent and praise them every time that they do listen to you. Normally within just a week of working with them, you should have a dog that listens to the sit command and you will just be tickled if this has never happened for you before now. Dog training can be a great deal of fun, both for the owner and their dog, if it is done correctly.

There are several different ways that you can go about teaching your dog how to sit whenever you tell him to and it is important for you to try a few different techniques with him and once you are seeing that he is listening to you finally, then you will know which technique to stick with. Some people can teach their dogs to sit just by saying it over and over and gently pushing down on their backside and once they do it then they are given a treat or a great deal of praise. Others find that taking something that the dog loves and kind of moving it slowly around their head and behind them, saying the word sit to them in a stern tone each time, works for them the best. It just depends on your preferences and what your dog responds to the best. Finding what works for you and your dog is what is important, do not let anyone else try and tell you how you should be doing it, if what you are doing does work. Advice is usually a good thing but for some reason there are those people that believe that they know what is best for you and your dog and sometimes that can really be annoying, so do what works for you ok.

Whenever you do decide to begin dog training your dog to teach them to sit for you, just remember to be patient with them because sometimes certain dogs might take a little bit longer to catch on than others would. Your dog can be your best little friend and when you do start seeing results from using your dog training techniques, you will just be totally excited and will be even more excited about showing it off to all of your friends and family members, so have fun with it!

Dog Training Resources

Kingdom Of Pets
Dog obedience training by sitstayfetch. Learn how to obedience train your dog effectively to stop your dogs behavior problems.

Dog Food Secrets
Increase the lifespan of your dog by up to 134%.

Dove Cresswell's Puppy and Dog Training Online
Dog Training Online offers dog training, puppy training, dog obedience training, puppy house training and dog house training, puppy potty training, crate training, dog potty training, crate training a puppy.

About The Author:

You DON'T have to struggle with your dog's behavior issues any longer. Get the facts and eliminate your dog's behavior problems now. Grab your free 10 lesson report at

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