Aggression Strategies

Dog aggression is a complex topic that requires experience and skill to address it successfully.

I have years of experience in and around Chicago treating all forms of aggression and will show you specific strategies to help assess your dog's aggression and devise a treatment plan that you can use every day.

I only recommend and use humane, non-physical techniques that are logical and effective. Whether the problems involve dog-to-dog aggression, or dog-to-people aggression I can help you and your dog. 

Dog-to-Dog and On-Leash Aggression
Often dogs are fine when off leash but exhibit aggression when walking on leash. This is appropriately named on-leash aggression and it happens for many reasons. When on leash, dogs are limited in their options. Combine that with fear, and dogs will choose to fight or alert the other dog to stay away.

This can present itself in many ways including barking, growling or biting. If the situation is left unchecked, dogs will consistently do this behavior day after day and their behavior can get worse over time. There can be many reasons why dogs exhibit on-leash aggression. Dogs that live in Chicago that were improperly socialized or had a trauma often show a higher rate of on-leash aggression due to the close proximity of dogs in most neighborhoods.

Dogs that move into Chicago from the suburbs or the country sometimes also have fear issues because of their lack of social skills. Whether your dog can peacefully interact with some dogs or is uncomfortable with all dogs on leash and off, I can help you identify ways to increase your dog's comfort level with dogs.

Dog-to-People Aggression
Whether the aggression is due to improper socialization or a traumatic event, dogs can exhibit many forms of aggression towards people. I have experience with all forms of aggression including territorial aggression, resource guarding, handling issues, startle sensitivity, and barrier frustration. I will show you how to identify specific changes in the environment which cause the unwanted behavior.

I will then show you how to read your dog's anxiety levels to keep him within his comfort zone. The final step will be to desensitize him to the specific events so he becomes more comfortable with the events that initially caused the aggression.

Treating Aggression
Aggression directed towards people or dogs is treated the same. I use a three-tiered approach to solve these cases.

    1. Desensitize your dog to stimuli that cause aggression and reactivity. I will teach you how to identify specific events that cause your dog to react. This could be a dog approaching, a person petting him, or someone trying to take a bone away from him. Then, I will show you specific strategies to help your dog be comfortable with the events that currently cause him to be aggressive. It is also important to desensitize your dog to anything that causes reactivity including barking at the doorbell or barking at stimuli outside. The more often your dog reacts the more "jumpy" he will be. Teaching a dog to be calm around everything that he comes in contact with will make him calmer overall and aggression treatment will be more efficient and faster.
    2. Manage your dog when you are not able to work with him. I will help you devise a plan to manage your dog when you are not working on specific exercises. This might involve putting him in another room when guests are over or moving away from a dog outside. This also extends to managing a dog so he can not bark out of the window or rush guests at the front door.
    3. Increase physical exercise and training. 
    Dogs are much less reactive if they receive the proper amount of physical and mental exercise. I will create training and exercise strategies to ensure your dog is receiving the proper amount of daily stimulation. Increased training will also increase your ability to communicate with your dog and increase your control over his actions.

My clients are often surprised to see how quickly I can achieve the desired results that they are looking for.

I look forward to speaking with you. Fill out my Information Form and I will contact you soon.

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Read my Testimonials or contact my clients in the References section.

 

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