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Training Your Dog :: Dominance and Predatory Aggression?

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By Paul Reedy

This week in our series on aggression. I would like to continue by discussing the next two areas on this subject. Dominance and predatory aggression.

Let’s start with predatory aggression. What is it?

It’s not something you see every day at its most extreme level. But in its lesser form, you may see it all the time and not recognize it as predatory aggression.

If you have ever thrown a ball for your dog and watched him go flying to get it, you have just seen your dog act out its predatory instincts. What you witnessed was a wolf chasing a rabbit in its most elementary form. Chasing cats is another common form of predatory aggression.

In more extreme cases, a dog may compulsively watch for cats all day, chase them down and kill them every chance it gets. This type of dog may also stalk and attack other dogs, birds, and small animals.

What causes predatory aggression?

All dogs are born with this drive to one degree or another. People have been breeding dogs because of this hunting instinct for thousands of years. Dogs and their predatory abilities have helped make man’s every day life easier.

Because of selective breeding, some breeds seem to be more in touch with their predatory instincts than others: huskys, gray hounds, terriers. But all dogs are predators and they all can exhibit this behavior.

Because of the type of world most dog owners live in these days, we no longer have a need for this type of drive or aggression. A dogs extreme hunting instincts can be a nuisance and cause problems. Especially when the dog gets hold of your neighbor’s cat.

Predatory aggression is usually not a major problem for most pet owners. It can easily be managed through confinement of your dog in a secure area. Such as in your home, yard, or kennel.

And through proper supervision. Get training early. Predatory aggression is very instinctual so dogs need to learn at an early age that such behavior is not acceptable.

Paul Reedy is a new Urban Chic columnist. He was in law enforcement from 1994-2001. He decided to venture out into the area of dog training and made a point to do everything in his power to increase his knowledge of dogs and how they think.

He attended Triple Crown Dog Academy and is certified as a Canine Behavior and Training Specialist. In December of 2001, Reedy attended Adlerhorst International for additional training as a police dog handler. For questions about your dog contact Paul at urbanchic@blackvoicenews.com

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