Dogs have been our friends since time immemorial. They have evolved side by side with us! They have shed their wolf-like traits to become the human’s best and most enduring friend. In Australia, we Aussies are addicted to dogs! We have our own wild dog- the Dingo
It is the responsibility of the dog owner to take care of their pet and ensure its wellbeing at all times. Like us, our pets are also a part of society. They must be trained to live amicably with other pets and human beings.
Many of us neglect obedience training and socialisation for our pets. An aggressive dog can put you in very embarrassing situations. It is imperative to socialise your dogs for the benefit of the canine and those around it. Even the most aggressive coon can be transformed to be loving and docile. Here are 7 Tips to Socialise an Aggressive Dog.
1. Find out why your dog is being aggressive
Before setting out to socialise your aggressive dog, find out what makes it aggressive. Some breeds are bred to be more territorial. Some may have suffered abuse. Some weaned too early (the mum teaches the pup behavioural skills). Some not socialised.
Whatever the reason, the dog must be isolated and patiently worked upon until it starts to trust humans. Reward good behaviour with treats and snuggles. Over time, your dog will become a paragon of good behaviour.
2. What triggers your dog to act up?
Dogs have triggers that can cause them to act up. It can be an animal, a person, certain smells, noises, or even bouts of insecurity! Sometimes, even your Roomba for pet hair can make your dog crazy.
You need to find out the exact triggers to deal with the situation. You much also find out how much tolerance threshold your dog has by its reaction to a trigger like barking or biting.
3. Take necessary precautions
Once you have identified what triggers your dog, it’s essential to take some precautions to avoid embarrassment to you and your dog. The quiet will do good for you and your dog. You can muzzle its mouth, close the blinds to prevent visual triggers or use a dog harness or a head halter to restrain your pooch safely.
4. Eliminate triggers
Alter your daily walk. Go on a route that is least likely to have a trigger. Pick a time when there are the less hustle and bustle. Always be close to your dog. Do not let it lead the way. Inform people not to pet your dog. Importantly, do not get upset when your dog starts acting up as this will further aggravate the situation.
5. Train your dog to obey basic commands
Many of you fail to train our pooches. Dogs being intelligent quickly learn to behave as they grow. But it is necessary to teach them to obey basic commands like sit, come and heel. No matter what happens, your dog should abide by your basic commands.
This will be of great help the next time your dog gets aggressive. Reward your pooch with its favourite treat or cuddles. Positive reinforcement always works. Do not scold your dog for any reason. Have a consistent and asserting tone always.
6. Gradually expose your dog to triggers
Now that you have diligently followed the above steps, it is time to start testing your dog’s response to its triggers slowly. As always, it is important to start gently. With all precautions taken, expose your dog to one trigger at a time. If your dog seems uncomfortable, take a break. If you are patient, over time, your dog will build up a good tolerance threshold to triggers
7. Do not rule out a professional
Professional trainers know their job well. The dog whisperers can work wonders with your dog. If all else fails, please seek their help. A few sessions with them will make a world of difference to your pooch! If you are looking for a pet related gift you should check out Paint My Pooch, who offer custom pet illustrations, and are based in Australia.
The above guide will help you socialise your aggressive dog. But give your dogs enough exercise, grooming, lots of love and quality food. A happy pooch will never cause you any trouble. It will become a well-loved animal for you and those around you.