Rehabilitating aggressive dogs

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

Building confidence in fearful dogs

Luna’s Onwers, Michael and Vanessa contacted me with concerns about their dog Luna - who was barking non stop and lunging at people and dogs the minute they stepped outside their condo door. Being nice, responsible peopple they knew something had to be done becasue the behaviour was unnaceptable to them and they didnt want their dog to casue anyone any problems nor for their dog to live such a stressed out existance.

Teaching fearful dogs to de-stress

We did three lessons together and here is the final result in the video.
Luna has long since been fine walking around people - both in the condo building and outdoors - the last step was being anywhere near a dog - she would still go nuts!
So I invited them to the kennel and brought out the most annoying dog I had there (sorry Bailey!) and we worked together teaching Michael hwo to properly handle Luna in that context.
Luna already knkew everything she needed - Michael just needed to understand how to work around high level distractions.
Here is Luna 10-15 minutes into our lesson - and you can see how she is not only calm and focused - but also occassionally comes out to interact with Bailey - with more repetition she will gain even more confidence!