Fearful aggressive and dominant aggressive dogs
Why do dogs display aggressive behaviour?
This area looks at the huge area of aggression that includes both dog dog aggression and dog people aggression.
Often we generalise aggression into two main behaviours, Dominant aggression and fear aggression.
It is important to realise that whilst we like to generalise behaviours things are often not black and white but more a murky grey! Below are some of the strange things that can also trigger aggressive behaviour that often falls into that grey area.
Anything can trigger a dog…
Aggression around a possession a ball, toy or stick
When another dog appears small, weak, old or injured
Specific people or groups of people
Dependant on which members of the family are present
Only occurs if people make a sudden movement
Around a certain area
Only when people first come to the door
When food is involved
Only black dogs…..only little white dogs
Only dogs with hair not fur
Only small dogs
Only male dogs…
Only one specific dog!
As you can see the list is endless……
Your dog is doing its best
The point to realise is that whilst your dog may show what you call aggressive behaviour it is often only doing what it thinks it is supposed to do.
When your dog sees itself as somebody that should protect the pack, or has the right to do as it sees best then it will do just that. Often it does this in a way that is over the top, but the dog is just doing what it thinks is best and not taking any chances or correcting what it sees as bad behaviour. The solution is to show the dog, that, "I am in charge, leave the protecting to me" or "I am in charge, around here so I am allowed to do this"
When your dog sees you as the person in charge, making all the decisions you will have a different dog.
Dominant aggression towards other dogs
A typical example of dominant behaviour towards another dog: Some people have very confident dogs some are small and some are large. A confident dog who is wanting to show another dog who the boss is will often "bowl" another dog up or run up to it. Often they wont hurt it, but they will charge it and pin it to the ground, getting the first strike in. They wont injure it but will leave it in no doubt who is in charge.
If the other dog doesn't back down them we have a bit of a scuffle on our hands.
Other dominant dogs will actually try to attack and hurt the dog that is minding its own business. Again this is a dog that is confident and not trying to avoid trouble but going looking for it and getting the first strike in.
Dominant dogs simply need to be shown that this type of behaviour is not required. This can be done with no force, no gadgets and in a calm and simple way…I can show you how
Dominant aggression towards people
Here your dog could be running up to strangers growling and trying to jump up at them or snapping at them as they come through the front door. There is a lot of confidence and you can see the dog focused on what it sees as its job.
Even within the home you may find your dog growling or even nipping and biting you when you try to do something.
This again is a dog explaining to you that you have made a mistake and should not have done what you did! The solution is simple show the dog that you are in charge and can do what you like.
Often actions such as trying to move the dog, not doing what the dog wants or simply approaching the dog can result in as growl.
Regardless of whether or not your dog is growling biting or nipping, you or other dogs, I can help
Fearful aggression towards people or dogs
Fearful aggression is usually quite similar in nature whether the fear is caused by dogs or people. The reason it happens is your dog simply thinks that it has to protect you and the pack from the dog or person. So long as you don't come to close it will stay put, watching. However if you approach too close it will snap or growl.
This may then develop into barking and biting but usually if you back off it will calm down again. Often this fearful aggression is accompanied by other fearful behaviour.
The solution to this fearful aggression is to show the dog that you are in charge and there is nothing to worry about.
No amount of talking, treats or pats will help these dogs. The key is to show them that you are the pack leader. I can show you how.
For help with your aggressive dog see the home consultation page.
Cookie is accepted into the pack!
here is a photo of our dogs in the middle of getting our older unsocialised large Mastiff dog to accept the new puppy Cookie into the pack. It was never going to be easy but you came over and did it and Ann and I would like to thank you for taking the time and effort to help us give our big boy a new doggy friend, something he has never had before.
You have changed our older dog more than I ever antisipated, I never thought we could change his antisocial behaviour. He loves his new mate and its thanks to your training!
Ann and Kat
Themba's a different dog
The changes are incredible
The biggest difference of all is in his responses to other dogs!
It was evident immediately after you left – when we could see it was the result of our changed understanding, and not just because the expert was there. It was all so obvious once you'd showed us. And while he continued to keep us on our toes with the need to consistently reinforce what is ok and what isn't, it hasn't been hard work.
The changes are incredible. Themba is now a peaceful dog, and he knows that both Chris and I are in charge. I no longer fly behind him on the lead like an out-of-control Mary Poppins. He understands the extent of his watchdog duties and no longer runs the length of the fence-line barking, or dashing between the front and back doors when he sees someone go by. The biggest difference of all is in his responses to other dogs – he is now well socialised and responds appropriately.
We have been amazed to see such a difference in the areas we'd tried so hard to manage ourselves, and had begun to think there wasn't a solution. The result has been a transformed dog (actually transformed owners !) and we're incredibly grateful to you.
Chris & Jennifer Lucas
Alfie was aggressive to all dogs…
Now he has a girlfriend Holly!
Thank you so much for your help with Alfie he had been aggressive to every dog for over 3 years. We were amazed to watch you establish yourself as pack leader.
We have followed your instructions and things have just gone so well. Then we walked back with them to the house and they played and rushed around. Alfie soon ran out of puff! Thanks to your valuable training & knowledge you passed on to us we were able to accommodate their dog Holly while our friends were on holiday in Australia
It all went well with the dogs enjoying each others company the whole time.
I was amused when they rough & tumbled together, they took turns at being the dominant dog
Alfie would quite aggressively mouth Holly at the neck all down her body then her leg! for quite some time, he would then be tackled by Holly & it would her turn to give Alfie a working over, they would finally both lie down together exhausted on the floor.
Amazing to think once all Alfie wanted to do was attack Holly…now they are best friends!
We are much in debt to your no gadget, or harsh dog training system. Your method is a simple & calm way of training. It takes time & effort but definitely works.
Thank you again , we will keep in touch
Ian & Jill Forbes, Alfie & Holly – Northcote
Samba is behaving impeccably!
Dog dog aggression
Hi Dan and merry Christmas,
just had to send you a note to tell you that our sister has come with her dog to stay with us over Christmas and Samba is behaving impeccably!
The two dogs have been swimming, walking and are now sleeping on the deck, no aggro, just awsome!
Thanks a million, take care,
Megan and Age
Rocky's nipping and biting stops
Aggression towards people
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the help you provided with our indomitable Husky – Rocky. It would be true to say that without your assistance Rocky would no longer be with us.
About 14 months ago, I contacted you in desperation. Rocky’s infringements had dramatically increased over the previous few weeks, with a spate of nipping and intimidating people. Crunch time came when he bit 86 year old grandad – while on the lead.
My partner and I are not new to dog handling, having worked with dogs all our lives. I have trained dogs to high levels in obedience and trialing. We consider ourselves to be good with dogs – but we were out of our depth with Rocky.
In desperation I contacted you. You paid us a visit that has changed all our lives.
Listening to you talk was a light-bulb moment. It was obvious we had not shown our dog leadership. Within a short space of time you had Rocky relaxed and leading calmly.
Handling dogs in a family situation can be full of conflict. Encouraged by your ongoing coaching, I understood that for Rocky to have a chance, it was extremely important for me to become an alpha female – consistently, not just some of the time.
He still isn’t perfect and will always want to be top dog; constantly testing for any signs of weakness. He is very clever and quickly adopts new methods to initiate his dominance – so we have to be tuned in all the time.
However, I am happy to report that he is a pleasure on the lead and his ego still gets plenty of boosting as he struts along with his “look at me attitude”. If we are home alone and people come to the door he takes no notice – compare this with the charging, howling, stalking and snapping that used to go on. I don’t want to tempt fate, but touch wood, so far, no further biting.
The best part of your method is in the quiet, calm, authority. There are no harsh punishments or raised voices. We still have a lot of fun with our dog and enjoyment has increased with his improved behaviour. Thank you Dan.
Birkenhead – Auckland
Jazz is now relaxed with dogs
After a number of attacks by other dogs, our Border Collie cross Blue Heeler called Jazz, became difficult to take out on walks. Each time another dog approached, we'd think she was going to be attacked, and so did she. Even if a dog was friendly, we were all tense and we took to avoiding dogs at all costs.
Doggy dan showed us that it was not so much that Jazz had a problem with other dogs, it was our relationship with her that was causing the problem. Just a few simple changes to feeding, rewards and helping her understand she didn't need to be concerned about protecting us around other dogs, all made a huge difference. We went from being lower in the pack, to top.
As you can see in the photo – Jazz is no longer attacked on walks, is relaxed with other dogs and people, is softer, and loves affection when we want to give it, not when she demands it!
Doggy Dan's relaxed teaching style, and enthusiasm for what he does, makes learning a pleasure. If you follow his easy guidelines, the results are amazing!
Fiona Cameron and David Benson
For help with your aggressive dog see the home consultation page.