Key Secrets to Training an Aggressive Dog

Things You Should Do Before Working With an Aggressive Dog

Get a thorough vet examination to ensure your dog’s aggression isn’t health-related.

Seek out the guidance of a certified dog behavior consultant.

Employ desensitization and counterconditioning training if appropriate.

Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and other canine enrichment activities.

Maintain a calm demeanor around your pet.

Use positive reinforcement and reward-based training techniques.

Purchase and use a muzzle if your dog bites or you suspect he may.

Set your dog up for success by working in a safe training space.

Try to address or eliminate your dog’s triggers, such as providing more elbow room during meals or addressing his underlying anxiety.

Use management tools and techniques, such as puppy gates, to keep your dog separated from people and other dogs if need be.

Consider spaying or neutering your dog — especially if your vet or behaviorist suggests that his aggression may be sex based.

Things You Shouldn't do Before Working With an Aggressive Dog

Do not put yourself or others at risk, which may mean leaving the training process to professionals if you don’t think you can do so safely.

Do not punish aggression

Do not employ outdated and counterproductive training techniques

Do not use aversive dog training tools, such as prong or shock collars

Do not touch or pick up your dog when he’s acting aggressively

Do not expect a cure

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