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Training Your Dog :: Dog Aggression

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By Paul Reedy

Finally on this last week in the series dealing with the different types of aggression, let’s talk about dog aggression.

How or why are some dogs aggressive towards others?


Dog aggression is a common problem and is normal. Dog aggression can be learned, and it can be genetic. It can also be a defense mechanism.

When aggression towards other dogs is learned, there may have been a situation in the dogs life when it showed the aggression, got the desired results (ran off the other dog) and no one was there to discourage the behavior.

We see dog aggression in dogs predisposed to having it because of genetics. You may notice it at an early age and the dog may actually enjoy acting out in this manner. Many breeds of dogs were bred to be dog aggressive for specific purposes.

When do dogs use dog aggression as a type of defense mechanism? For example, let’s say you took your dog to a dog park one day. All of a sudden it is attacked by another dog and they begin fighting. You take your dog home and return to the park the next day. You now can’t help but notice your dog acting a complete mutt. He’s growling, snarling, and snapping at every dog around him.

None of which are being aggressive. What is going on? Your dog is using dog aggression as a defense mechanism. He is now telling those other dogs, “I am a tough guy. Don’t mess with me!” If the owner of a dog like this does not discourage this behavior, the dog may become more comfortable acting it out, to the point where he may be the one attacking other dogs.

Dogs that are dog aggressive are not bad dogs. They simply need to be taught proper ways to respond to certain situations. It is up to the owner to set boundaries and see that their dog has not cross the line. With leadership and training, owners can break new ground in establishing the proper relationship with their dogs.

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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