Managing Dog Aggression

Pam and Molly
Molly at the kennel

Walking a dog with dog aggression can be very challenging on a daily basis.

Having a dog who pulls on leash, barks and growls at and will possibly bite other dogs makes going outside with a dog highly stressful for the owners and dogs alike.

Professional training can help owners of dogs with dog aggression

Molly used to react very strongly to other dogs on her walks - as you will hear her owner Pam mention in this video - even dogs behind a fence would elicit a strong reaction from Molly.Pam knw there had to be a better way to get Molly to focus and calm down and contacted me for help .She enrolled in an in home program that consists of 6 lessons. Here we are in lesson 4 in this video and it is our first time working with Molly around other dogs. At this point Molly has the skills needed to control herself and it is more about teaching the human part of the equation how to properly handle the dog.

The problem with Poodles

Beryl - is a standard Poodle and she is just the dog I wanted to use to bug Molly. Beryl is friendly and pushy and I allow her to constantly invade Molly’s space during her lesson. Molly reacts strongly - and Pam hesitates for just a second. Once pam remebers to keep walking and gives Molly the heel command - things smooth out. The second time we do this Molly’s reaction is much less intense. After that it was smooth sailing and Molly just ignored Beryl for the rest of our lesson despite Beryl being a complete pest (Thanks Beryl!).

Dog aggressive dogs need to learn self control and to trust their handler and their training

This type of training is about much more than teaching a dog the meaning of the words heel or leave it. It is about an emotional state that we are trying to acheive. A sense of well being and calmness. Think of it like yoga for dogs who stress out too easily.

Teaching a dog like Molly to trust her owner and the training process means that Molly will feel comfortable while working and trust that nothing bad will happen to her in training and also out on her walks - resulting in a calmer, less defensive, less reactive dog. The less she reacts - the less stressfull each subseuquent walk is for her and this new energy just keeps feeding itself. Take a look at Molly’s body language and how relaxed her face and tail are while she is working.

Teaching a dog new patterns

A dog has a right to excercise it’s options! At times during the lesson Molly, who normally heels on the left even switches over to the right all on her own when passing by Beryl - in order to avoid coming too close to her. This was all Molly’s idea and one that we often see in training when the dog understands they dont have to react anymore to the dog/cat/squirrel/person like they used to in their past life. New patterns

When your dog aggressive dog can walk like this - you have done a wonderful job teaching them focus and trust their training!
Molly (the dog in front with her owner) is dog aggressive and Beryl - the nosy Poodle is helping condition Molly to stay focused and not react aggressively.
Molly at the kennelsniff

How to train a dog aggressive dog


Nyka - a very driven Malinois with Dog Aggression

Nyka the malinois carrying a branch.

Malinois - not for everyone!

Nyka is a great dog - from the world famoud Ot Vitosha Kennels.
Anyone in the working dog world knows that Ivan Balabanov breeds highly driven dogs and they are not for the faint of heart. It is like getting in an F1 car - you better buckle up and hold on tight!

Gilles and Connie - wonderful dog owners from Laval, QC - were having trouble with Nyka and after trying other trainers - contacted Nick to help them with Nyka.

This video is different in format than mpst of the other ones due to Nyka’s character - i wanted to showcase several things:
one - playing tug of war with him and having him switch in and out of commands. This shows his controllability even when in high drive
Having him workaround Hyper - who is a male INTACT Dutch Shepherd who was about 12 years old @ the time.
Very challenging for a dog with dog aggression issues.

Having Hyper bark and join in on the work - showing more contorllability in close proximity

Having him control himself while I play tug with Hyper - taking things even further becasue now we not only are controlling in high drive but also added an element of competitiveness to this - fueling the fire - but keeping Nyka cool!
Thanks for your help Hype - miss you buddy!

Montreal Dog Trainer and his Dog help clean up the Maine Beaches

One of the very useful dog training tricks that stem from a fetch command!

Hyper playing on the beach in Maine

We have spent a lot of time on the beaches in Maine as a family and Hyper was most often there with us - so why not do our part to help keep the place nice and clean? Too bad there weren’t any recycling bins around.

Training Terriers! Really?!?

Scottish Terrier Bobby in training and wearing his K9 - Cam and vest!

Dog Aggression solutions in Montreal - Family K9 to the rescue!

Bobby’s owner called me for training out of concern regarding Bobby’s dog aggression as well as a lack of general training.
We spoke @ length about the training and I explained that I can teach most any dog to control itself through proper training - and some dogs become social - which is an added bonus - and some don’t. But at the end of the day the bottom line is we will have a trained dog and a dog that can be walked, come when called, fo to place and ignore other dogs outside on a walk as needed.
You can clearly see in this video that not only is Bobby focused and very obedient - he heels both on and off leash, comes when called from a good distance, stays on his place under major distractions - he is also very social with both little and large dogs!

Control and social skilles developed through dog training

I am so proud of how far this little guy has come in only two weeks! When he first came in - he sounded like a dog caught in a blender whenever he would see another dog. In fact I emailed his owner to tell her about the “Excorcism of young Robert” because that was how channeled his aggression was.
Go Bobby!

Dog Aggression, People Aggression and Possesive Aggression - sound like fun?

Cody’s owners enrolled Cody in Family K9’s in home Intensive training - Nick trained Cody for 2 weeks and then taught his owners how to maintain the training Cody received and have been doing great on their own since then.
Cody Galasso Greenstone4
Here is the email I got from Cody’s owner prior to training to give what you are watching some context:

Hi Nick,

Cody is a two year old Cockapoo who has had two trainers in the past year. One was quite brief to help train the basics. The second was a board and train for one week, plus a few sessions here and there. The latter was better for Cody but we still have nagging issues which we want to completely get rid one. The list is as follows:

- About 75-80% of the time, when walking on the street, he will lunge at people simply walking by. I have to move him to the opposite side of my body to ensure he doesn't lunge. However, if someone surprises us, it's game over.
- 100% of the time he sees a dog on the street, he will bark, tug and lose control. He simply does not like other dogs, no matter what. Occasionally, on walks with very docile dogs, he will get used to them and calm down. However, as soon as we enter a house or the other dog moves quickly, he will lose it and lunge at the dogs.
- He also gets protective over things like food, kleenex or junk on the street. There's no chance to reach in and take it out with our hands because he's sure to bite and draw blood. Although he immediately regrets biting us (he rolls over on his back or walks away head down/tail tucked) it's still unacceptable. We don't have kids yet but want to be sure this is not an issue when the time comes.

Here is an email from Cody’s owners several weeks after his training:
Hi Nick,

Thanks for reaching out.

Cody is doing very well. He's been very good with place (held it up to 45 minutes just yesterday without the zap). He's calmer in general around new people.

We're still working to get him better while walking by new dogs but has been very good around Dayna's parent's dog. Other than a few low growls, he's been very good. 

The Out command is working well too. Did not take long to train him and he does with everything. Still gets kleenex/toilette paper when we're not looking but is easily controlled after that point.

Walking/Heel is good too!

Thanks a lot for checking in. We can discuss at which point we need to do the refresher/update.

Hope all is well with you.


Airdale Terrier in Montreal's west island - DDO - aggression issues rehabilitated!

Winston's owners were frustrated with Winston's behaviour. he would try to attack other dogs on a walk - not just bark and pull - but really try to attack.
  • Winston’s owners had taken him to a group obedience class prior to trainign with Nick and not achieved any really useful results.

  • The instructor told them it would be best to walk Winston when no other dogs were out - as in 5 am or midnight. The instructor was serious.

They called Nick to enquire about training together and was apprehensive at first when they were told that it would only take six lessons of private, in home dog training and thought the price was high as well (their words)- but here you can see Winston before and after and you can hear for yourself what his owners have to say about the process and if they felt it was worthwhile.

A rescue dog story in Montreal, NDG

Post training: Evaluated by another dog trainer and told their dog was “very sweet!”.

UPDATE: Kaylee was rehabilitated through Family K9's methods and Sheree and Anthony's efforts and not only goes to the dog park - but was brought in to a local doggie daycare facility - where the trainer there evaluated her dog and told Sheree that she was "very sweet and did not need any training". Sheree grinned and took that as a compliment - of course this trainer didn't know the "old" Kaylee:-)

Rescuing dog from the streets

Anyone reading this who has rescued a dog knows that the dogs can come with their own individual quirks and challenges.Kaylee is a dog who lived on her own in the country and had to fend for herself until Sheree and Anthony rescued her. Kaylee had MAJOR dog aggression problems and had tried training @ another school with no success prior to finding Nick. The trainer they worked with told them that there was nothing to do about it and to avoid otherdogs and squirrels and all animals because it could not be fixed.

Dog & Human Aggression Issues solved through training- South Shore, Rive-Sud - Richelieu

Dog Aggression and Human Aggression - corrected through training.


Hyper helping Nick train aggressive dogs

Two of these four dogs had aggression problems with other dogs prior to coming to NIck for training. One of which whose owners had worked for quite some time with another school to no avail.