Agression has its root cause in behavioral problems.
Q: I noticed my dog has gotten very aggressive with visitors lately. How can I fix this behavior so I can keep having company over?
Does the aggressive behavior reflect a sudden change, or have you sorta-kinda seen a problem coming but wanted to believe everything was fine?
Many dogs guard their food bowls, resting places, or favorite toys. Many are on edge around big, assertive men or erratically moving children. Did your dog get beaten up at the dog park that morning, then have to go to the vet, and did you just step on his foot while he was asleep? Did some ignorant trainer tell you to jerk on your dog’s leash when he lunged at another dog on the street? Is your dog old and arthritic? Is that chronic ear infection flaring up? I strongly suggest making written notes. A detailed account of the aggressive episode is golden, whether your dog needs behavior modification, or medical treatment, or both. Meanwhile, prevent further rehearsals of the aggression– avoid the problem situation as much as you possibly can.
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Then check out The Dog Trainer’s Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet!
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