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Review: Dog Aggression

dog aggression I’m Richard Hipp.  My wife and I called Jim because we were experiencing some very aggressive behavior  with our dog DC.

DC was getting very territorial, very aggressive and growling when we would  come into his space.

We also had to break up fights between DC and our other  dog.

Once we got DC on Jim’s program and worked the program, we have not seen any aggressive behavior from DC and we are continuing doing work with him.

DC is turning into the dog we can really enjoy rather than one that kept in fear of when we went into the room where he is.

It’s been a great success and we will continue working with our dog so he will stay the kind of dog we want.

House Breaking A Puppy – The 3 Things You Don’t Know

One reason people find it difficult to train and house break a puppy is that the puppy has absolutely no idea what the owner is trying to teach. And, many times, the owner’s expectation of the puppy is beyond what the puppy is capable of at that certain age. This communication gap is never more painfully obvious than in house breaking a puppy. It can be a very frustrating process. It doesn’t have to be, but sometimes there are those puppies that are difficult to house break. Many people will say, “I’m doing all the right things” or, “I’ve read a whole stack of books” and the bottom line we keep getting back to with some puppies is, “House breaking this puppy” is difficult – or at least so it seems – but in reality, they’re generally overlooking some very simple “tricks of the trade” to house break a puppy. There are many factors that impact house breaking a puppy. None of them can be viewed separately as they all work together. One component most puppy owners do not consider is the impact that nutrition has on house breaking a puppy. What kind of food, how much and how it’s prepared can heavily impact how quickly you can house break a puppy.

1. Step one is to feed a high premium, nutritionally balanced diet to your new puppy.

Tip: Inexpensive dog food is chocked full of artificial preservatives, dyes, bad fat and low grade carbohydrates used as fillers. You can not purchase high quality dog or puppy food in a grocery store or a big box store. They don’t carry high quality foods. Tip: Keep your new puppy on the breeder’s food for at least 4 days once home. Any change in diet should be done gradually to prevent digestive problems and any related house training issues. Tip: When you are ready to begin switching to your high quality food, begin using this formula: day one – 3/4 old food, 1/4 new food; day 2 – 1/2 old food, 1/2 new food; day three – 1/4 old food, 3/4 new food and finally on day four – all new high quality food. If at any point your puppy develops a soft stool, simply go back to the previous day’s formula until you get a firm stool.

2. How much you feed is important. Many people over feed their puppies and in fact, leave the food bowl down all the time so that the puppy can free feed.

Tip: The quantity they tell you to feed on the bag of food is not set in stone. Be flexible and adjust to your puppy’s appetite and weight. Too much food and you will have a puppy with loose stools. Tip: Puppies have a very difficult time or simply can not control loose stools resulting in accidents for which they should not be blamed.

3. Developing a regular and consistent feeding schedule is important.

Tip: Keeping your puppy’s feeding schedule consistent on weekends as you do on week days is critical. Once you have the diet correct, there are other components you will need to put into your house breaking routine. These include:

  • How to be proactive in teaching your puppy to be house broken instead of being reactive.
  • Understanding the importance of the crate in house breaking your puppy.
  • Teaching your new puppy where not to go is the final part that completes the process.
  • Remember that throughout this process avoid any and all punishment of your new puppy

Again, always set your dog up to be successful. Give your dog what he needs and he will give you back years of wonderful companionship and love.

Need help now???  Check out our puppy training course.  You’ll think I’ve moved in with you 🙂

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

Dealing With Dog Aggression When Walking on a Leash

Over the years many clients have initially come to me because of dog aggression when walking on a leash. Interestingly, many of these dogs were not, in fact, aggressive – their behavior was simply a result of the dog perceiving the owner’s anxiety. The first step in curbing any negative behavior in dogs is dog training, and lots of it. I cannot overemphasize the critical nature of training in order to establish yourself as the pack leader, and subsequently teach your dog to respond to basic obedience commands. Only after you have mastered these two phases, can you expect your dog to respond to you (and trust you) in potentially fearful or unknown situations. After basic training, aggression when walking on a leash can be evaluated properly by the owner and effectively addressed.

Assuming your dog has successfully completed basic obedience training, the first step is to have confidence in your handling skills, leave your anxiety at the door and understand that as long as your dog is on a leash the situation is controllable. IF your dog is well-trained, some ideas to curb dog aggression when walking on a leash include:

  • Ask the other dog owner if their dog is friendly and if so, let them interact. A good way to do this is to allow your dog to approach the other dog from behind for a little backside, get-to-know-you sniff. This is the best non-aggressive hello in dog-language.
  • Alternatively, keep on walking and pass the dog by, or put your dog in an obedience command of sit and stay (at a safe distance) while the other dog passes. Both of these communicate to your dog that you are in control of the situation, and they need not worry. This also helps with familiarity, so that passing another dog on a leash becomes a regular occurrence.
  • Take the opportunity to train your dog with other dogs around (when the environment is safe), and begin to reward your dog for neutral or positive behavior around other dogs. Anything short of good behavior requires a stern OFF, then call your dog to you, get a sit, and then send your dog to interact once more.

With the above suggestions, repetition is key, especially around other dogs/distractions. If you are not having success in consistency, and/or if your pet continues to struggle with aggression while walking on a leash, I recommend that you see a positive reinforcement trainer in your area, being sure to work on distraction training.
Again, always set your dog up to be successful. Give your dog what he needs and he will give you back years of wonderful companionship and love.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

 

Changing Dog Aggression – Is it Possible?

When you are the owner of a dog that often shows aggression whether to other dogs or people, finding the best information on how to remedy this can be difficult and confusing. There is so much information out there on dog aggression, much of it by hobby trainers. The information could even be harmful.

The best time to start training your dog is when he is still a puppy. This allows you time to socialize your puppy to other dogs, people and children so that as the puppy gets older starting at about 4 to 5 months, the chance of fear being associated with these things is greatly diminished or not a problem at all. Fear can be the basis for dog aggression.

Working with an aggressive dog can be a bit frightening to the owner. If this is the case, you may want to consider getting some help by using a trainer who understands positive behavior modification and has worked with aggressive (reactive) dogs. If the aggression is not severe, you may be able to change this yourself with consistency and patience.

The first step you should take when you begin the process of eliminating the dog’s aggression problem is prevention. What do I mean by this? As you are beginning to work on your dog’s behavior, don’t put him in situations or settings he is not used to. Prevent problems from occurring as you begin to rehabilitate your dog. This is a slow process.

You must learn how to re-direct the behaviors of your dog. If you place him in areas where he will become aggressive before you have the understanding and the handling skills of how to re-direct those behaviors, he has the chance to once again display the bad behavior. You want to eliminate this, not give him even more opportunities to act out his aggressions. If you do this, you have set your dog up to fail.

The next area you want to approach is obedience. Teach your dog to “sit” first. You can progress to down, stay, off and all the other commands once you are comfortable that he has the first command down. By teaching your dog obedience, you will find that you feel more comfortable in the leadership role. You dog will also begin looking at you in a different light and will begin to believe that you can handle any situation, so he doesn’t need to.

Teaching your dog to obey simple commands will go a long way in changing the aggressive behavior. Obedience commands give you appropriate actions for your dog to do instead of aggressing. This is called re-directing. Give your dog the opportunity to do an appropriate action and praise him instead of allowing him to fail.

This is the point where you may want to join a class that involves people who have dogs with aggression problems. It isn’t likely that a friend will let you use their dog to see if your dog is still aggressive after you have worked on your dog. A class specifically for aggressive dogs, with experienced trainers lessens everyone’s fear and you will have assistance in helping your dog not to aggress. It will also teach you the appropriate handling skills you will need to help your dog be successful.

Teach your dog desired behavior and you may soon find that he loses much of aggression he had before.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog, as you are the teacher of your children, and remember, “Opportunity Barks”