Reactivity / Aggression

We deal with all levels of reactivity and/or aggression. Fear based or dominance based; towards people, dogs, or other objects.

We not only work with you and your dog, but we make sure you understand the reasons for why your dog is reacting and how to overcome them. Every dog is different and highly benefits from a customized approach.

If you are dealing with any type of reactivity or aggression contact us as soon as possible to get the results you are looking for.

Reactivity / Aggression Session

Customized half day session to show you how to be the trainer for your dog’s reactivity and/or aggression issues. We do an assessment, review your goals, develop a plan, explain the reasons why we are following these steps, and work one-on-one with you and your dog.

Forms Of Aggression

There are many different forms of aggression and the most common are:

  1. Dog Aggression
  2. Food Aggression
  3. Fear Aggression
  4. Possession Aggression
  5. Human Aggression

Dogs can have aggression for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes the aggression can be from lack of socialization.  Other times aggression can come from a bad experience in which the dog has learned to control the situation using aggression which is typically how fearful dogs become aggressive.  In more rare cases aggression can be a result of inadequate pack structure.

When dealing with any form of aggression you should consult a professional dog trainer.  There are many small foundations that need to be addressed first before your aggression problem will go away.

Quite frequently people underestimate the level of aggression and end up with costly vet bills from their dog lashing out and hurting another dog or worse case scenario with a law suit.

Many aggression problems begin at the dog park.  Unfortunately there are a few rude dogs out there that do not know how to behave.  Ask almost any trainer who understands dog behaviour if they frequent a dog park, they will tell you they either avoid them altogether or go at low traffic times.

No matter how good your dog is, you still do not want to expose them to dogs that are bullies and who want to fight your dog.

You will find that you can become a very effective leader and keep your dog away from bad situations.  When dealing with any form of aggression you need to address pack structure and almost always proof up obedience.  Many dogs with aggression typically do not have any rules and frequently jump on people, become over excited and pull hard on leash.

If your dog is experiencing or showing signs of aggression, contact us immediately.

Dog Aggression

Many people think dog aggression is the result of a dog being beaten, mistreated, or having a bad experience with other dogs. Two of the biggest causes of dog training are from fear and over excitement. Dogs that are fearful often learn that they can get other “scary” dogs to go away if they growl, bark, or snap at other dogs. This behaviour can quickly escalate to where a dog actively seeks out, chases, or fights with other dogs.

Dogs that are overly excited are dogs that pull hard on leash, bark at other dogs, and/or jump up. If a dog does not understand how to loose leash walk and is constantly pulling and jumping and lunging towards other dogs the frequently develop leash aggression. Leash aggression is when a dog acts aggressive towards other dogs only while on leash. This is typically caused by owners tugging or popping on the leash which the dog associates these painful corrections with the other dogs nearby. Instead of having an excited dog you now have a dog that displays aggression to get other dogs to go away as they are worried about the painful consequences. 

Dog aggression can be treated with a well designed obedience plan where your dog listens to you off-leash. Some dogs can be rehabilitated to play with other dogs again and some may never reach that freedom. The problem with off-leash parks is there are a lot of dogs with rude behaviour that can trigger fights. If your dog does not tolerate other rude dogs then you are best to avoid those dogs. Dogs always want to establish pecking order when they meet new dogs. If your dog is very pushy with other dogs then you are best to have a well proofed dog for obedience and burn their energy off through games like fetch.

Food Aggression

Food aggression is when your dog displays any type of aggression towards others going near their food. This is normal in the dog world for dogs to protect their food. In our world it is not accepted and easy enough to train them how to behave around their food. 

Many people will punish their dog when they show signs of aggression around their food. At best all you will teach your dog is to cover up the signs that they have a problem with people around their food. Then instead of having a dog that will give you a warning you have a dog that could snap without warning.

Even lower ranked wolves will display aggression to higher ranked wolves when eating, as it is a built in survival mechanism. A lower ranking wolf knows that if they never eat they will die of starvation. 

To teach your dog not to have problems around their food requires showing them that good things happen when you are around them and their food. This should not be attempted without a professional as dogs have been known to cause serious injury when proper steps are not followed. Many people misread the signs and they is when they end up needing an emergency room visit. 

When working with food aggression it is also important to address pack structure and make sure dogs understand who the leader is. It is common in today’s society to treat dogs like humans. The saying goes “If you tear dogs like humans, they will treat you like dogs”. As cute and cuddly as they can be they are designed to abide by pack rules. If you do not display yourself as a calm and gentle leader then often the dog will take that role.

If your dog is showing signs of food aggression don’t hesitate to call us right away.