Use Caution when dealing with Dog Aggression

▶ Dog Aggession is truly one of those areas where extreme caution is a must. While aggressive behavior is possible in most dogs (and humans), it is rarely displayed. Many, many factors influence this, and it would be irresponsible of us to try and explain all the surrounding issues in this article.

▶ Suffice to say that this is an area best left to experts with experience in recognizing, evaluating and treating aggressive behavior.


Don't Do This at Home!!!

▶ Specifically, DO NOT see something on TV, or read about it on the internet, and then try this at home.

And if you are one of those that believe you can handle it, then take precautions beforehand.

▶ Remove other animals, children and people from the area, so that you are the only one that gets injured.

▶ For those that take a more mature approach, seek professional help.

▶ It should be no surprise that of the three dozen instructors at our school, many with decades of experience, only the three most senior staff are permitted to evaluate and work with cases involving aggression.


How Partners Dog Training Approaches these Situations.

▶ At Partners Dog Training we have developed a unique approach to this, one we are particularly proud of.


▶ First: We DO NOT "kick the dogs ass" for challenging us!

This is the old school approach, and while still in use at many training facilities, there are significant issues with this.

Its is based on an emotional response (from the handler/client/trainer) which is like trying to debate with someone who has lost their temper. Even if the handler is able to subdue the behavior, it is almost impossible to transition this to the owner of the dog.


▶ Second: We use a positive reward based approach with the dog. Basically we trade something good for a good behavior. This could include food, a toy or ball, or even affection. All dogs respond differently, and we closely evaluate each individual case to determine the best possible result.


▶ Third: We strictly structure the dogs entire day. No freedom to run and play, unless its earned. We have found that most dogs that are acting aggressively have been allowed to develop this behavior through a lack of rules. Yes, this is often the owners fault, but that's okay, that's what we are here to help with. We use crate training, numerous daily training sessions, and food-reward based pattern conditioning. Clearly, this is something only done while the dog is staying with us. And yes, it takes time to create a whole new set of manners in their life.

But its worth it! We literally SAVE the LIVES of many of these dogs, who are headed for euthanasia if it weren't for our training.


Some Information for You.

▶ For information sake, lets look at some of the causes and triggers in aggressive dogs. This is purely for informational purposes, and not to try and teach you what and how to treat aggression.



▶ The causes of aggression are complex and sometimes impossible to explain.

▶ Generally speaking we determine aggression through observation of behavior, introducing the canine to situations that may trigger a problem, and then evaluate the level of response, amount of input required from the handler to affect the behavior, and the duration of the behavior.


Types of Aggression.

▶ As with causes, there are multiple types of aggression. They can be categorized into three categories:

▶ Genetic Aggression: A behavioral trait (normally poor breeding) the dog has inherited from its parents (or grandparents).

▶ Learned Behavior: Something the dog has learned during its life (puppy through adult)

▶ Breed Specific: Behavior based on the breeding characteristics of the dog

(Again, each of these areas is complex, and not covered here)



▶ Its important to know that most cases of aggression are triggered by am action, exposure or an external factor.

▶ Triggers could be as little as another dog running past, a child moving towards a food bowl or toy, or by the owner themselves.

▶ Sometimes there are multiple triggers, making the cause even more difficult to determine.

▶ Remember that the trigger is not the cause of the problem. Rather it is a symptom of a larger issue.


Can you HELP my Dog?

▶ Short answer, YES! In the past ten years we have handled hundreds of aggression cases, from a simple bite all the way to a severe injury. We have even helped people whose dogs are killed.

▶ In view of the fact that most cases are unique, we need to see your dog and complete an evaluation before we can say what chance their is of success. However, less than one percent of these specific cases were unsuccessful.

▶ You will also play a big part in the success, from being honest with us during the evaluation, to following up afterwards.

▶ Bottom line; we CAN HELP you and your dog!


Contact Us.

▶ Finally, I want to again reinforce that this is an area that requires professional help.

▶ Dog Aggression, whether it relates to breed or behavior, is not something that should be taking lightly.


Feel free to contact Partners Dog Training at 480 595 6700 to arrange an Aggression Consultation.