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Many assume that dogs are aggressive by their breed. But a recent study showed that the greatest factor that lead to aggressive dogs was abusive and aversive training. According to the study, aggressive dog breeds was the fifth greatest reason why dogs were aggressive. In addition, a New York Times article supports that genetic makeup is not the sole cause of aggression, rather it is the environment that the dog grew up in. Properly training your dog  will have the greatest impact in your dog’s life as well as your own. Here are some tips to help you:

Exercise your aggressive dog.

Sometimes a lack of sufficient exercise is the root of an aggressive behavioral problem. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. When a dog has too much energy, it increases its likelihood of the dog reverting to its basic animal instincts.

Establish Trust.

Dogs strictly adhere to the “pecking order”, meaning it will not harm its master. When your dog trusts you, it recognizes you as the leader. Here is how you can teach your dog to trust you more:

  • provide regular and constant training with your dog. The more face-time you get with your dog, will prevent its basic tendencies to take over.
  • provide positive reinforcement. Constantly supporting your dog and celebrating good behavior can soothe aggressive behavior over time.
  • associate your dog with other people. Dogs can feel uncomfortable with people they haven’t met. The more they meet people as a youth, the easier to become acclimated with strangers.

Become a pack leader.

In addition to trust, becoming a pack leader will help your dog respect you. Dogs have the ability to sense the strength of other dogs and naturally follow them. Pack leaders are selfless, concerned for the benefit of the pack, and cares for the individual members of the pack. It is imperative that you become the pack leader. Show your dog that you can lead it. Be assertive, but not abusive. If your dog recognizes your ability to lead, it will respect you as a master and become less aggressive.

If you or a loved one have been attacked by an aggressive dog breed, call us. We have the expertise to help you get the most out of your dog bite injury.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.

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