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How Do Know If My Dog May Have Fear Aggression?
Does Your Dog Bark Viscously At New People and Animals?
This can happen at any age, with any dog. They all of sudden become what we think is protective sometimes. Maybe you should consider fear aggression. My dog Rogue was great with dogs all her life until we moved to a new place. She was 7 years old when she started reacting. So we kept her away from other dogs and people. I sadly wish I had known about fear aggression first. She passed away 2 years ago from old age. I never had the chance to build her confidence back up being in a new area.
So when we adopted our dog Jasmine we decided we would do things differently. We had no idea what had caused the aggression but we knew she was reacting in some sort of fear. We did hire a professional at Refined Canine and she was amazing. She had experience with aggressive behavior in dogs. And years working with the local humane society. Helping rehabilitate dogs. I still highly recommend her to every new dog owner I meet. Here are some things we learned with our dog Jasmine. Even with these tips I still would highly recommend a professional to help you.
Some Tips To Help You Get Started
- Your dog will rely on you to feel safe and secure. You need to build that trust in order to help them get over the aggression.
- Don’t force them into situations give them time to observe people and animals around them
- Try to take different routes when you walk your dog. Repeating the same steps in the same area the dog may become territorial. We want to avoid that. So change things up when you can.
- Don’t be afraid to get an” in training” vest or “do not approach or pet”. This tells people not to approach. So you can focus on making them feel safe with you.
- Cross the road when you see other people or dogs and do this until your dog is no longer reactive to other people or dogs.
- When you feel your dog is confident and ready start stepping aside when people walk by. Have them heel or sit and focus only on you. And when they get past you. Reward your dog with treats and pets.
- Ask the other person if their dog is friendly when approaching. By using a blue or pink collar, bandana, or leash will let others know that the dog is male or female. Some dogs don’t get along with the same sex.
- Try using a baby voice, happy voice, excited voice that it’s ok. We use “Oh Jasmine, who is that” in the baby voice she loves. It makes her go into a happy mode right away.
- Give them the choice most of all. Never ever force your dog or make them lie down in submission. Keep the leash loose but firm. In case you need to grab your dog fast. Let them have the choice if they want to meet the person or other dog.
- Watch your dog’s body language. If the ears are up, or the back tail is tucked or they seem scared or skittish. They rely on you to help them. So have patience and keep trying. Never give up.
- Take them to places pet-friendly like local pet stores. Get them use to people and animals. Don’t be afraid to let the staff at the pet stores know. They will help you by keeping other dogs clear.
- Relax and have fun with your pet. Keep a positive outlook. Never yell at your dog for being aggressive by fear. They won’t understand. It will only make them bark more. Distraction is the key.
- If click training, practice your focus and keeping them distracted from other dogs until they no longer see them as a threat.
- Try a calming vest sometimes this can help a dog feel less anxious and don’t be afraid to use a muzzle if you’re concerned about your dog biting anyone. Until they are comfortable and your comfortable. There is never any harm in being extra careful until you can trust your dog fully.
- Make sure your harness is clipped to the front to prevent pulling you. Or to the front of the collar. When it comes to a dog with aggression I would highly recommend a harness.
- Try a fitbark collar to help better understand what is going on with your dog.
Fear Aggression in Dogs and Keeping them Balanced
I hope these tips can help you. But again we did hire a professional to show us. She even walked around the neighborhood with us, in the beginning, to help us understand what we needed to do for our dog. We also recommend positive re-enforcement training. It truly works. Yelling at your dog because they are barking is not the solution. Dogs are instinctively protective, but they are also very social animals. So try to keep them balanced and you will have one happy pup. And a dog you can take anywhere!
Some products I would recommend when starting out. I am not an expert by all means, so If you’re in the KW and area, you can reach out to Refined Canine. She is an expert when it comes to training! And has great prices. Definitely worth the money! You can also check out our Basic Training for Dogs to get started. To learn how to keep your dog focused on training. Also I recommend you read more about common problems in dogs.