Have you ever been out walking your dog on a nice sunny day, there is a light breeze in the air and the birds are singing and you have not a care in the whole wide world. All of a sudden, your heart skips a beat as you catch a glimpse of another dog owner approaching. You know that your dog has also seen the approaching hound and you can feel the tension starting to build in the lead. All of a sudden your friendly pooch is transformed into a snarling intimidating beast, as he pulls aggressively on the lead, snapping and barking at the approaching dog. Your commands to behave himself have fallen on deaf ears and all that you can do is hold your dog with an iron grip and pray that he or she calms down pronto. The other dog owner is horrified and people out for a walk look over and think ‘oh what a horrible dog!’
This situation is very common for many dog owners, at best it is an embarrassing situation to find yourself in; having to repeatedly apologise to dog owners for your dog’s misbehaviour is not a situation anyone likes to find themselves in. At worst, a dog behaving in such a manner can result in very undesirable scenarios whereby your dog attacks and harms another dog or worse a person. The feeling of powerlessness when your dog doesn’t obey your orders can be distressing.
It can be particularly unpleasant because, for the rest of the time, our dogs can be so warm, so friendly and so hospitable. It is almost as if a demon comes and possesses our dogs, causing them to behave out of character! So what exactly is going on here? Why do our beloved pets see red and display aggressive behaviours?
To understand the reasons that motivate their behaviours it is first important to understand that dogs are animals that developed in packs. Within these packs there was a strong sense of social hierarchy; some dogs dominated and some dogs were submissive. This hierarchy was important for the common good of the whole pack and meant that some dogs had to take on certain roles.
If your dog is displaying aggressive and intimidating behaviour it is likely because they are still abiding by their innate hierarchical social code.
If your dog is displaying aggressive and intimidating behaviour it is likely because they are still abiding by their innate hierarchical social code. Often times, an aggressive dog sees themselves as the pack leader. It sees it as their duty to protect and defend the rest of the pack from any other predators or intruders. When we see the aggressive behaviour of our dogs from this angle, we can start to appreciate that they are not being purposefully troublesome or annoying, but rather are simply trying to protect us from what they perceive as danger.
When we understand this, it is easy to see how many of the methods that dog owners employ to calm their dogs down in such moments fail. Tugging on the leash harder, shouting at our dog, trying to distract them with food – none of these methods work because they don’t address the root issue; that our dog is behaving as the defender as the pack, trying to protect us.
So you might ask the question, if none of these methods work, is there any hope for my dog? The answer is yes; there absolutely is a way to address your dog’s defensive behaviour. By changing our dog’s perception of who is dominant in our relationship with them, they will begin to see you as the leader and you as the one who will protect the pack. One of the best methods on the web that explains how to achieve this is Doggy Dan’s dog training website. His tried and tested methods show you step by step how to gently change your dog’s perception of who is in charge, which results in him becoming less stressed, happier and significantly calmer.
After witnessing Doggy Dan’s pack around other dogs, and seeing how incredibly well behaved, docile and playful they were, it was clear to see that they all looked to him as the pack leader. Dan has distilled his philosophy down into 5 Golden rules that can be applied to dogs of all breeds and backgrounds and they really are some of the best dog training rules on the internet today.
As Dan will tell you it cannot be overstated; establishing yourself as the pack leader is the first step that will allow you to exercise even greater control over all other aspects of your dog’s behaviour. Once this hierarchy has been understood by your dog, you may find that many other behavioural issues vanish overnight! One of the most wonderful things about Doggy Dan’s methods is that they work in line with your dog’s natural instincts. There is never any forced behaviour or harsh treatment of your dog.
…establishing yourself as the pack leader is the first step that will allow you to exercise even greater control over all other aspects of your dog’s behaviour.
To give you an example of his expert approach let me share some tips that he gave me that helped my dog to be calmer as other dogs approached. It is important to remember that these tips can be implemented only after the leader relationship has been established.
- Take it Slow
Pushing your dog too fast to learn too much will lead only to your dog becoming stressed and to you pulling your hair out. It is Important to remember that this is a marathon not a sprint. Good behaviour takes much effort, but is worth every last bit of it.
- Master the Basics
It’s vital to make sure that you are in control of your dog’s walking before meeting an oncoming dog; good leash training is the foundation for a pleasant and enjoyable waking experience.
- Stay Focused
It can be so easy to get sucked into and emotionally involved in your dog’s behaviour, remember always that you need to show your dog exactly how you want them to behave – you are the leader
- Be Ready
Stay focused on what’s happening t all times, be ready to step in and correct your dog firmly at any stage when their behaviour starts to deteriorate.
- Use Distractions
Using a small food distraction at the right time can work wonders for some hounds. The key is to use it as a distraction, absolutely do not mistakenly use it as a reward for you dg after they have displayed aggressive behaviour.
At the end of the day, dogs are animals that are bound by a social structure that requires dominance and submission. In many cases, as I am sure you have experienced, it is entirely natural for two dogs to meet and for one of them to roll over and for the other to assume the dominant position. Many dogs even play at being dominant and submissive.
The trouble arises when there is a real contest for the dominant position. Some dogs are naturally more submissive than others while some tend to more towards domination, while we can never remove this aspect of canine behaviour, we can establish ourselves as the leaders of our dogs, and thereby greatly rescue the chances of them displaying highly aggressive behaviours in the presence of another dog.
If you think that it is time to take back control over your dog, if you are tired of having to worry about your waking your dog when another dog approaches, if you want to have a calmer, friendlier and more relaxed dog then definitely go and check out this site.
Remember that trying to deal with problem as the other dog approaches is too late; the solution lies in addressing the underlying social hierarchy that defines the relationship between you and your dog. So what are you waiting for?