Dog Aggression Training Toronto

Aggressive dog behaviour is neither as simple or as complex as we often make it out to be. It’s especially hard for owners to navigate through when they have not learned or been taught what to look out for or how to train aggressive dogs and change their behaviour. Often when we witness aggression in dogs, it appears to have come out of nowhere and are absolutely shocked and mystified by it. And let’s be honest, be it dog to dog aggression or dog to human aggression, it really can be shocking and sometimes terrifying in the moment. A key thing to note, is that there are almost always signs leading up to the aggression and therefore, opportunities to modify behaviour. More importantly, however, it’s important to understand that not only were there signs moments before the aggressive scenario took place but likely signs for weeks or months and sometimes even years before the behaviour transpired! It’s only when we start to understand that dogs work within a lead or follow system, and can appreciate that we aren’t always leading them properly and consistently, can we then realize how dog aggression can come into effect. Everything a dog does is intentional and in realizing and remembering this, we can start the process of dog aggression training. Each and every time that a dog is demanding from us (whether we are aware of it or not) and we give in to the demand, we are telling the dog that this behaviour is allowed. After a dog has been shown for weeks or months that it can make the decisions and get what it wants when it wants it, we are setting ourselves up for a challenge at a later time. As in, when we finally step in to stop the unwanted behaviour without first going through the process of taking back our leadership role, we will often be met with aggression from the dog. Dogs are never calculating and manipulating to take over the role of leader, however, if we inadvertently or unintentionally allow them to for long enough they eventually will as they are programmed to either lead or follow and nothing in between. The fortunate thing in all of this is that the majority of dogs prefer to follow over lead. There is literally only one born leader in every litter. When it comes to dog training for aggressive dogs, establishing a leadership role is key. If we fail to lead in a way that the dog can understand and the roles reverse as a result, it can certainly lead to unwanted aggressive behaviour.


Something else to keep in mind when considering dog aggression training, is that the aggressive behaviour can stem from a fearful state rather than simply wanting to call the shots. When we constantly allow a dog to become fearful and allow reactivity from the anxiety, dog aggression can result. Unfortunately, so much of what we intuitively try with dogs would work to help or change human behaviour but simply doesn’t apply the same way as dogs communicate and learn differently from us. In all situations where dog aggression is an issue, whether it stems from dominance or a place of anxiety, it is unbalanced. When we start to address the issue holistically to create balance, we can shift it for good. Any time a dog is going into an aggressive state and we can meet the challenge and snap the brain out of it, we can eliminate the dog aggression. By effectively meeting the majority of challenges and reactivity, we can reconfigure the brain so that aggression is no longer an option for the dog and it will remain in a calm state. The dog will be allowed to observe and relax as opposed to react from an unbalanced state. Once you have established this with your dog, now the majority of the time your dog will be relaxed and balanced. And on occasion if you do get reactive or challenging behaviour, it will be at a far lower intensity and easily diffused. With consistency in using this approach, we can remove dog aggression completely And a healthier happy dog is a healthier and happier relationship for all of us.