The owner can then ask the person to quietly retreat to a distance at which it was previously comfortable and resume training (as long as the dog is not too aroused). Catch it early if you can– if your dog appears uncomfortable, anxious, stiff, or is growling, then seek help before the problem escalates. Effective options include…. In a way, the only distinguishing feature between territorial fear aggression and overt fear aggression is the level of confidence that the dogs possess. In mild form, dogs bark to intimidate intruders, particularly those of the same species. First say, “watch me,” and move a finger toward your face. Pet Store Websites. If your dog is likely to be aggressive if being pet by strangers, tell others that your dog does not like to be petted. Once trained to the muzzle, the territorially aggressive dog can be required to wear the muzzle in any particularly challenging situation. It is important to practice this exercise on a periodic basis to ensure its effectiveness when it is needed. Despite all of the publicity involved with dog bites Stop dog-on-dog aggression at home Dog aggression between dogs living in the same home is an interesting topic for a number of reasons. Assistants and visitors should be asked to engage in a variety of different activities so the dog learns that they are not threatening. Territorial/fear aggressive dogs do not usually settle down completely while visitors are in the home and are prone to sudden outbursts of barking or lunging and may aggress toward visors who move suddenly, speak loudly, or get up to leave the house. Dog aggression stems from the dog’s frustration and dominance. Typically, these treatments are applied for at least four to six months, and possibly for as long as a year or two. Avoid Confrontations. Out on the street, these same dogs may not have the courage to intimidate their adversaries, although they might wish they had. Ask the dog to “sit and watch me” or remain in a “down-stay.”. If the dog can be distracted by food rewards or games, counterconditioning on its own may circumvent the brunt of the problems. Once the dog understands the concept of the long “down-stay,” the owner can switch to supplying rewards intermittently. Reschedule the introduction between the visitor and the new dog at a different time. Dominant dogs have a responsibility to warn other pack members of a stranger’s approach and they do this with confidence and authority. Assuming that your dog’s behavior is not a result of boredom or frustration due to a lack of appropriate exercise, let’s take a look at why dogs seemingly randomly become aggressive. The barking is also intended to alert other pack members who can join in defense of the pack’s territory. Next, the “down-stay” should be utilized while the owner is in the room but otherwise occupied. Townsend, MA, Driven by This can cause the unwanted behavior to increase in frequency and intensity. These exercises should be repeated with a variety of different people. Bear in mind that dogs with fear-related aggressive behavior have a tendency to snap at people when they move away, for example, when they are preparing to leave. After doing this several times, eventually the stranger should be able to stand a few feet from the dog while it remains calm and under control. Exercise. The bite is usually of a hit-and-run nature – a cheap shot. Some owners find that their bundle of furry joy turns from Lassie to Cujo when confronted with visitors to the home, or when another dog crosses their path during walkies. anticipates the owner), the owner should issue an alternative command, before giving the dog the desired resource. Trouble when visitors arrive is a common concern of many guardians. We are constantly adding new specials to our site. Training an aggressive dog should not be done without the help of a professional, but these 6 best aggressive dog training tips can help you start. There are several factors that distinguish fear-related territorial aggression from dominance-driven aggression: Although dominance-based territorial aggression is easier to manage than fear-based territorial aggression, both forms of territorial aggression can be addressed reasonably well by means of management measures, proper control, and containment. When temperatures drop, we layer up in warm clothes, turn up the furnace, enjoy hot drinks, and take other steps to stay warm and safe. Leash the dog. When dealing with territorially aggressive dogs, it is essential that owners establish a leadership role with respect to the dog in order to safely manage the dog’s territorial tendencies. Needless to say, appropriate behavior modification therapy should be conducted simultaneously to take advantage of this therapeutic window. We find these muzzles to be effective and more humane than standard muzzles. Reassurance will affirm the dog’s fear. By the end of the fifth day, the dog should be able to remain focused for 25-30 seconds no matter what the distraction. Dogs can have many different reactions to visitors, from excited piddling and jumping to fearful growling and anxiety to barking and aggression. For these dogs, all off-lead exercise should be conducted in safe places, with constant supervision by an informed owner who has realistic expectations of the dog’s behavior. Initially, reward the dog every 10 seconds if he remains still, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Some dogs are only a problem when people come into their perceived territory and so be especially careful at doorways, gates and even the doors to the car. X Research source If someone wants to pet your dog… Then the dog should be required to remain in position as the owner exits the room, but remains nearby. A dog that has bitten a stranger coming onto the property should not be allowed to roam unsupervised while there is the faintest chance of a stranger entering his zone. If owners are consistent with this approach, the dog will learn that he must look to them to obtain anything he needs or wants, such as food, freedom, play, and social interaction. Territorial aggression, when confined to barking at the sound of approaching strangers can be a bane or a blessing, depending on the circumstances and the owner’s control of the situation. Borderline-low levels of the principal thyroid hormone may be associated with increased anxiety, and thus aggression. Limiting interaction can smooth over very awkward situations with ease. There are times when a guest's behavior can cause a dog even greater anxiety or may send mixed signals to the animal. If it is a bane, the owner can do something about it using the approaches described above, and can frequently make inroads into containing the problem. Key to the entire program is desensitization to approaching strangers along with counterconditioning to alter the dog’s associations and behavior during progressive, planned exposure to visitors. I get calls every week because people want help with dogs who react badly to anyone who comes to the house. Safety Precautions. Obedience Training. The amount of movement the dog will tolerate, while remaining relaxed, should be increased incrementally. In general, dogs tend to be more territorially aggressive when they are behind a fence, because a fence allows the dog to know exactly where the boundary lies, and he will patrol and protect it. If he appears agitated, the training has proceeded too quickly and the owner must return to an earlier stage. Show the guest what verbal commands or hand signals should be used so the dog gets consistent clues about how to behave. At this early stage of the treatment program, if the owner has the dog in the room with guests, the dog should be removed before the guests prepare to leave. A basket muzzle allows the dog to pant, drink and accept small treats, but prevents biting. If the guest is frightened of dogs or has severe pet allergies, it may be best to crate the dog or keep them in a different room or outside while the visitor is present. Treats should be supplied if the dog remains calm. Next, the stranger may stop at the end of the driveway and momentarily walk onto the dog’s property before leaving again. If the dog cannot maintain the required posture and affect, and remains tense, barking and lunging at the stranger, the owner needs to return to an earlier phase of training. The IHC Group. Territorial aggression that has advanced to the point of lunging, snarling, and biting is more difficult to treat and positive results, though eminently possible, are not guaranteed. Unlike humans, dogs have little sense of equality and will always aspire toward the highest possible rank within their social group. All dogs that have shown aggression to visitors in the past should be trained to wear a basket-style muzzle. One thought on “ How to Introduce Your Dog to Visiting Dogs ” C Hays January 2, 2015 at 11:17 am I usually go out and meet the new dog first, only talking with the client while the new dog decides I'm okay. Nothing in Life is Free. Keep in mind that it’s never your dog’s fault, some dogs just As youngsters, they may back up and bark at the sound of people approaching but, as they grow older, they find themselves more intimidating and learn that they can drive the bogeyman away. The mail carrier comes, the dog barks, the mail carrier leaves, and the dog takes credit. If these exercises are performed frequently enough, and with an assortment of strangers, starting with the least threatening and working up to the most threatening, the dog will learn that their presence is associated with positive experiences. There are several ways to help dogs adjust to a visitor's presence without bad behavior. If you have a dog that is acting aggressively toward visitors to your home or property, it’s vital that you consult a qualified behavior professional immediately. If the dog is resistant to remaining still, an alternative strategy is to have the person stand still and walk the dog around the person in progressively decreasing circles. Wait for quiet Under no circumstances should you let your dog our while Your first step toward stopping this behavior … There’s the constant concern of an incident happening despite your best efforts at prevention. Counterconditioning. However, if you have concerns that your dog will be aggressive to your visitor, do not let him approach them, just settle for being in the same room together … This will cause the dog to defer to his owners’ authority so that he can be introduced to people under pleasant circumstances and be rewarded for remaining calm. Aggression to other dogs Consider testing the dog for medical conditions that might be contributing to increased anxiety, especially hypothyroidism. Territorial/fear aggressive dogs have a lower level of confidence that permits the expression of fear aggression only on the home territory or from within the safety of the owner’s vehicle. The body language includes: approach-avoidance behavior, tucked or semi-tucked tail, slinking gait and an indirect approach. Ensure that the dog receives regular daily exercise (20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily is a minimum). Once the dog has learned the basic obedience commands, he can be trained to perform long down-stays while the owner moves progressively further away. The goal is to teach the dog to associate visitors’ presence with pleasant experiences. The dog should initiate all interactions with visitors in the home. All Rights Reserved. Each day, increase the amount of time that the dog must pay attention, in a relaxed pose, before he receives a reward. If the dog is sensitive to certain stimuli, let the guest know and request that they not contribute to the animal's anxiety. Owners should keep doors secured to ensure that no one enters the property without warning. The key point to remember is not to suddenly expose the dog to the full intensity of the stimulus but to very gradually “up the ante.” At no point should the dog be allowed to become aggressive during training. In effect he must “earn” all valued resources by first obeying a command, such as SIT or DOWN. The head halter gently, but firmly, establishes owners’ leadership and control of their dog, as well as providing for visitors’ safety. Ideally, during the training process, no one should come close enough to the dog to trigger an aggressive response. To be able to truly understand how to stop dog aggression, you’ll need to find out what makes your dog aggressive in the first place. For dogs that are aggressive when people enter the house, it is best to isolate the dog at first and then, once everyone is seated, the dog can be brought into the room on a lead and head halter, if he remains relaxed. Territorial aggression is a potentially dangerous behavior problem. The next step is to countercondition the dog to people and situations that trigger aggression. Dog barking when visitor enters the room: this article provides a detailed sample of work that can be done with dogs who are reactive when visitors enter the home. If you can’t reschedule the visit or have unannounced visitors and the dog seems agitated, put the dog in its safe place, such as its crate or a separate room with its own bed. The approach to controlling fear-based territorial aggression is more problematic. Whenever the dog is behaving in an aggressive manner he should be ignored or controlled. Punishment has the potential to increase the dog’s anxiety and worsen the situation. The dog knows where his territorial boundaries are – but visitors do not, and they may unwittingly cross the line. If the dog does not respond aggressively, visitors can be asked to try taking a few steps before returning to their seat. Diet. If the dog responds by paying attention in a relaxed and focused manner, reward him with a small food treat or praise him lavishly. Head halters send a biological signal of the owner’s leadership by exerting gentle pressure around the muzzle (“maternal point”) and at the nape of the neck (“leader point”). Finally, owners should consider posting a “Beware of Dog” sign as a responsible reminder that a dog is on the property. When dogs display aggression to strangers only on the home property, and do not respond aggressively to strangers on neutral territory, territorial aggression is the likely diagnosis. This concept will replace the prior aversion and need to repel borders. Something unfamiliar appears -- be it an object, person, or other animal -- and your dog sees it as threatening. To keep everyone at ease…. If the dog prefers, visitors can present the dog with a tennis ball or other preferred toy. toward the person’s buttocks, thighs, or calves) … or they may simply nip, ripping clothing. If someone approaches too closely, and the dog becomes aggressive, the assistant should stand still until the owner can get the dog’s attention, preferably using an obedience command, like “cut” [it out], and rewarding the dog for its compliance. Although alarm barking can sometimes be aggravating for dog owners, neighbors, and visitors, lunging and biting are far more serious problems. During the early stages of training, assistants should be advised not to make direct eye contact with the dog and not to approach the dog head on. The bites of territorial fear aggressive dogs are usually directed towards the “nether regions” of the offender (e.g. I want to help you understand the causes of dog aggression, so you can overcome this dog problem. Arranging group training sessions, taking walks through busy areas, visiting dog parks, arranging puppy play dates and occasional doggie day care can all help dogs become more socialized and accepting of others. About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features Fear aggressive dogs generally have enough confidence to be aggressive to strangers on or off their own territory. The objective is to have the dog follow the owner’s directives as and when issued. Rather, they should be asked to avert their gaze and advance slowly in a circuitous path (as this is less threatening to most dogs). While the aggressive dog may have initially triggered a dog fight, your other dog might as well be the first to attack. Let the guest reward the dog's good behavior with a few kibbles or treats to share with the dog. The distance and time the owner is away from the dog should be increased until he can remain in a down-stay for 20-30 minutes in the owner’s absence. At this stage, whenever owners sense that their dog is about to engage in the unwanted behavior, they can use this counterconditioning technique to interrupt the behavior before it escalates. “The territory” generally includes the house and yard, plus abutting areas (e.g. By definition, territorial aggression should be expressed toward members of the same species. If your dog is aggressive to visitors to the home, make sure you secure your dog in the garden or in a secure room before you open the door or greet guests. Every dog owner should take steps to train their canine companion to react appropriately when guests arrive, and there are several ways to help dogs have better "company manners" when greeting guests. Once the territorial dog is reliably relaxed with visitors in the home, he can be permitted to interact with them. Dogs are more likely to show aggression towards visitors who make them feel in some way confronted, which is why totally ignoring them is very important. More often than not, these dogs are afraid, but people rarely call to say that they have a fearful dog. Dogs that are overly dominant, both in absolute terms and with respect to their human family members, may provide a serious obstacle for any visitors to the home territory. A non-confrontational approach to leadership is the best way to accomplish this important task. Counterconditioning interrupts unwanted behavior by training the dog to respond to a command or activity that is incompatible with continued performance of the aggressive behavior. sidewalks) that the dog patrols, and family vehicles in which he rides. Owners can start by having the guest slowly stand up and then sit down. Serving Dogs with the confidence to bite strangers present a danger to any visitors to the home and a liability for the dog’s owners. Some dogs, notoriously those of the herding breeds, show a variation of the territorial aggression theme. And if this is ineffective in deterring the visitor, an attack may ensue. Be sure to check back often! Where owners have some control, they can usually reassure the dog that the person is, in fact, welcome, at which point the dog will settle down. If the dog sits automatically before the owner issues the command (i.e. But what about our pets... © 2021 Farmer's Exchange Townsend. The approach we advocate is the “Nothing in Life is Free” leadership program. Engage the dog in regular daily obedience training sessions to sharpen his response to one-word voice commands and increase owner leadership. Every dog has a different threshold of what they take. For indoor sessions, owners can also train the dog to perform a 20-minute “down-stay” on a specific bed or mat that is used only for training. Dogs can have many different reactions to visitors, from excited piddling and jumping to fearful growling and anxiety to barking and aggression. Allow sufficient slack for the dog to leave your side and interact with other dogs, but ensure that you can physically restrain him if necessary should he become aggressive. When you invite your guests in, he should not jump on them and, ideally, should greet them calmly. Bear in mind that the territorially aggressive dog is reacting because he wants the intruder to depart. Electronic fences pose a particular problem for dogs with territorial aggression. Building a dog's trust and respect for you helps a dog trust you to handle situations, and also deals with possessiveness that many aggressive dogs are displaying - where they basically view you as theirs and are trying to keep Most often, the main culprit is a lack of proper socialization and training , but there are other causes that can contribute to this issue. All rights reserved. For difficult cases, it may be helpful to treat territorially aggressive dogs with anti-anxiety, anti-aggressive medication. The aggressive behavior is thus reinforced. This includes becoming still and rigid, growling, snarling, baring teeth, lunging, and nipping or biting . There are two primary motivations for territorial behavior, dominance or fear/anxiety. While not every technique will be effective with every dog, using several tactics to help them get used to guests will help the dog develop better manners for every stranger they interact with. Employ a Gentle Leader® head halter to exert the optimal control of the dog in aggression-inducing situations. If your dog has problems with male visitors in particular, you may Aggressive behavior in a dog refers to any behavior connected with an attack or an impending attack. For desensitization, the owner should start by exposing the dog to people that he is least likely to be aggressive towards and train the dog in a location where he is most comfortable. Every dog owner should take steps to train their canine companion to react appropriately when guests arrive, and there are several ways to help dogs have better "company manners" when greeting guests. For example, strong perfumes or aftershaves can heighten anxiety in dogs, and asking a visitor not to wear any can help minimize bad behavior. The more accustomed a dog is to strangers, the more they will be accepting of house guests. Uniformed visitors, like the mail carriers, are prime targets for this learned type of aggression. This requires the dog to work for anything he needs or desires (food, toys, attention, access to the outdoors etc.). Introduce a mildly anxiety-inducing person at a distance. For dogs that do not readily respond to food or play, it is helpful to train the dog to relax on command by responding to verbal and visual cues from the owner. Territorial/fear aggressive dogs do not usually settle down completely while visitors are in the home and are prone to sudden outbursts of barking or lunging and may aggress toward visors who move suddenly, speak loudly, or get up to leave the house. Territorial/fear aggressive dogs frequently show ambivalent body language similar to that of purely fear aggressive dogs. Next, the dog can be trained to rest on a training mat or sit while focused on the owner when a visitor approaches the door. This technique is most effective when owners can identify and predict the situations that trigger the dog’s territorial response. If a dog is allowed to threaten, and the subject then retreats, the dog is rewarded for showing aggression. In either case, it’s important to teach your dog what you want him to do when visitors come to the door. In most cases, once a stranger has been welcomed inside the home, the dominant-territorial dog will relax and enjoy the visitor’s company. Dog aggression is a major dog problem for owners. Clomipramine (Clomicalm®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), buspirone (BuSpar®) are all reasonable treatment options. Basket Muzzle. Proper socialization and training from an early age – either from puppyhood or as soon as a dog is adopted – will help dogs learn how to behave around guests both in the home and outside. Except during training sessions, avoid exposing the dog to situations and people that may trigger the aggressive behavior. If the dog is sitting or lying down and appears relaxed in the visitor’s presence, the visitor could slide a small food treat toward the dog, if this will not startle him. Might be contributing to increased anxiety, especially hypothyroidism should be ignored or controlled adding new to... Be associated with increased anxiety, and nipping or biting exits the room, but people call! Subject then retreats, the stranger may stop at the door while you answer.. Anticipates the owner should issue an alternative command, before giving the dog remains calm,,. 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They will be to have the dog takes credit to situations and people that may feeding!, like the mail carrier comes, the dog to behave far more serious problems consider posting a “ of! The command ( i.e leaves, and thus aggression your home growling and anxiety to barking and aggression directed! Territorial fear aggressive dogs are usually sufficient technique is most effective when owners can start by having the reward! Sidewalks ) that the dog in regular daily obedience training sessions, avoid exposing the dog with a head,. And increase owner leadership principal thyroid hormone may be, it ’ s as. And watch them in order to receive praise or a food treat lead, preferably with a tennis ball other...