How To Socialize An Aggressive Dog

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Bringing your dog outside on walks in the park may sound like a great idea, but if your fur baby lacks the socialization skills, it may be a bit more complicated. They could get into fights with other dogs or start growling at strangers, which is something you definitely want to avoid.

Dogs go through a critical socialization period during their puppyhood (3 weeks to 3 months), and if you weren’t able to socialize them as puppies, it may be difficult to do so as adults. Difficult, but not impossible. 

It’s also important to note that aggression may not always be caused by a lack of socialization. There are a few other factors that could cause your dog’s behavior such as their genetics, breed, or their experiences in the past. 

Through following some of the tips below, you may be able to help your dog slowly get used to unfamiliar environments, dogs, and people. Do remember that all dogs learn at their own pace so remember to be patient throughout the entire process. 

Avoid Labeling Your Dog As “Aggressive”

As stated earlier, there are indeed factors that may contribute to your dog’s behavior. However, it is recommended that you shouldn’t blame these factors and think that your dog will be aggressive forever. 

Labeling your dog “aggressive” will not help you nor your dog move forward with the situation. The best thing you can do is simply move forward, and believe that your dog’s behavior can change.

Identify Your Dog’s Triggers

Dogs that are aggressive only in certain situations have triggers that make them act a certain way. Each dog has a unique set of situations that set them off. As the dog owner, you know your dog the most. So take the time to remember these triggers. 

Once you know what these are, you can then slowly work your way to calming down your dog in these situations so that they know that they are safe.

Teach Your Dog Basic Commands

Sometimes, aggression may be caused by lack of obedience training. By teaching your dog these commands, you will be able to divert their attention away from their triggers and focus on you instead. When your dog is focused on these triggers, they end up getting lost in the situation, which is why you need them to snap out of their negative feelings.

Teaching them commands like sit, leave it, or come are great in bringing your dog’s attention back to you. And while you’re giving your dog these commands during triggering situations, positive reinforcement is always the way to go to keep them focused. These will help build a solid foundation in making sure that your fur baby is ready to be exposed to the outside world. 

Ensure Safety Measures Are In Place

Once you have the foundations in place, it’s still always better to be safe than sorry, no matter how confident you feel. Basic safety training such as muzzle training or crate training your dog are crucial to ensure that your dog can be controlled when the situation calls for it. 

Other essentials you should bring on walks are a no-pull harness to control your dog and even a citronella spray that will keep off-leash dogs away from your dog without harming them. 
If you have followed all of these tips and you still don’t see significant improvement in your dog’s behavior, you may want to consider getting a professional dog trainer.

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