The word alone conjures up images of anger and violence. Our job is to help you better understand what aggression is and how it relates to your companion dog and teach you how to communicate effectively with each other.
Aggression is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed immediately. You want an experienced professional who understands the behavior and has an explicit understanding of the science of learning and behavior to guide you.
Aggression is a natural behavior that is vital to an animal's survival. Animals use aggressive posturing such as growling, snarling, or charging to preserve its life, food supply, offspring and a safe place to sleep.
There are some who would punish such behaviors, but that's not the wisest of choices for many reasons, the most notable of which is most acts of aggression have foundations based in fear. Punishing fear can have devastating and often irreversible consequences to the dog, and ultimately, to those living around him.
When a dog growls or snarls it's showing you it possesses a great deal of self restraint. It's a dog's way of saying "hey, what you're doing is really scaring me. Please stop or I 'll be forced to bite." It is an early warning system. Be grateful your dog possesses such restraint.
You may see a dog aggress around food, a toy, at strange people, when putting on a leash, removing a collar, walk too close while it's resting or when it claims a spot on your bed.
Confronting the dog usually makes matters worse. What's needed in situations such as these is to teach the dog that we are not a threat and teach it alternative ways to achieve what it wants without violence and in ways that are more acceptable to us. Most importantly, your dog needs to view you as a leader. This doesn't involve being mean or physical to your dog, but establishing a leadership program where you control all the good stuff...the food, access to toys and more.
Aggression may also be the result of an underlying medical condition. At My Best Friend Dog Training, LLC we will, with your permission, contact your veterinarian to discuss any potential medical issues we feel may be causing the behavior. Also, we will provide your vet with a detailed, comprehensive report detailing our diagnosis, tests we feel may help to rule out medical issues, and if necessary, discuss the options available in psychopharmacology to help your dog on the road to recovery.
If your vet is not experienced in problem behaviors we will direct you to vets in your area that are. We also have access to some of the most respected veterinarian behaviorists in the world.
If your dog has an aggression problem, don't suffer in silence. Give us a call. We won't put you on hold or force you to make an appointment to talk about it.