How To Stop Dog Aggression for Everyday People: The Ultimate Guide

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36 Comments on “How To Stop Dog Aggression for Everyday People: The Ultimate Guide”

  1. Thanks for making this video Zak! Your videos have been a LOT of help in the past, and I’ve been dealing with my Pup being a little aggressive lately, I’ll be checking out this video later, thank you! Just wanted to write this down here real quick, can’t watch rn because my sister’s birthday is tonight so I’m kinda prepping for that!

  2. Does your dog ever behave aggressively?

    If you need help with aggression, here are links for some incredible trainers who can help you virtually, anywhere in the world!

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    To learn more about why you should avoid aversive dog training methods, watch this! STATE OF EMERGENCY: The Dog Training Crisis is Here!

    Thanks so much for watching this video! Subscribe for FREE dog training help on every topic you can think of!! If you have something specific you want help with right now, let us know in the comments! 🤗

    1. Zak if you don’t know the difference between reactivate, resources guarding and aggressive behavior I have to question your credentials. It is basics of dog training. Reactive dogs can become aggressive but in order for most trainers to say a dog is aggressive the dog must want to severely inger or kill a dog or person or other animals. Aggressive behaviors can be death to that dog if not addressed fast and sufficient. Reactive behavior can manage with distance and crates etc but it is also good to correct that behavior before it leads to aggression. You are addressing the dogs stat of mind meaning you calm them down so they can learn. If I feed my dog treats when they are barking and pulling I can feed that excitement or if my dog is fearful and barking or just trying to hide I can feed the fear. It is like watching a scary movie with popcorn it doesn’t make you less nervous but can just cause you to feel scared and just keep the feelings to your self. So no treats and toys won’t work. Next is resources guarding this is because the dog has lack of leadership and leadership is love to dogs. Resources guarding can be controlled and eliminated when you lead and your dog looks to you for directions. It can also be prevented by daily structure and with solid obedience.
      Aggressive behaviors needs to be corrected because it is like spell check for a human. Dogs can make mistakes but they should be able to also be checked.
      If you understood that most dogs that have chronic pain should go to the vet and ever dog before doing any training should have a clean bill of health before trainers will train the dog. If the dog is in pain they can be trained still with different methods that is why balance dog training is the best. Because they are able to train a dog even if they can have health problems. They are willing to adapt and willing to use whatever is needed to calm a dog down and settle them. As an owner of an aggressive reactive dog with an enlarged heart who would stress himself up and make his condition worse I used balance dog training methods now he is calmer happier and healthier.

  3. Great video. I commented on Joel Beckmann channel this weekend talking how I believe positive reinforcement is best and Joel and other people responded with completely rude comments . Made me feel bad for being a positive reinforcement person.

    1. Unfortunately this is the status quo in much of the dog training community. A lot of my audience really doesn’t like the fact that I bring attention to these problematic dog training methods but given that it is so out of control, I don’t see what choice I have. Sorry you had a bad experience on his channel.

    2. Unfortunately, many balanced trainers react rudely to those of us who use positive methods. I think perhaps they feel threatened. We have science on our side, they do not. One day, I hope training will be better regulated and people who use aversive methods will be out of business. Don’t feel bad! Just remember that you’re a threat to these folks.

    3. I have seen videos of Beckmann abusing dogs on his own channel. He will generally blame and criticize the dog that he put in the abusive situation. Not a good guy, Beckmann.

    4. Because redirecting is equated to rewarding. Your dog behaves badly, instead of correcting, you give them a treat or a ball. That doesn’t fix unwanted behavior.

  4. Hi Zak, great video! It was interesting to learn about this. I had a question about the other side of this; my puppy (10 months old) was attacked last week by another dog. She was pooping on the grass beside the sidewalk right out front of the house with me as we left for our morning walk, and a dog that walked past lunged and bit her in the face as they walked past. This is the second time she has been attacked (just before we adopted her at 3mo old and now this last week) and she now has a fit anytime she sees another dog. Whether she is inside or outside, the hair on her back stands up and she barks like crazy and tries to run away. What could I do to help her get comfortable again, or at least help her stay calmer in situations where she is close to another dog? I appreciate any help! I’ve been watching your videos for a few years now after we got our first dog three years ago ❤ thanks again for your educational videos!

  5. May be a question good for a short.
    What technique would you suggest for addressing leash aggression, since the cause may be that the dog feels restrained and unable to put distance between them and another dog? And if the answer may be to help them feel comfortable and positive about the other dog, why might they still be aggressive on leash with a dog they are comfortable with normally, like a dog they live with?

  6. A living being forced to obey with physical punishment is a slave not a pet. A pet is a tame companion one devotes special attention to. Some trainers are slavers and some are pet guardians.

    1. That is a pretty broad statement. I had a pitbull that used to mess with bugs and spiders as a pup, and the first time a spider bit his nose, he stopped. As he got older, he would chew on car tires, he was my shop dog, and one day he bit a tire on a car that we were backing out of the shop and broke a canine tooth. He stopped chewing tires after that. When my daughter got a cat and we introduced the dog to the cat, the dog was excited and ran up to the cat and got his nose sliced open. After that, they got along. Actions have consequences. If dogs can figure this out, why can’t liberals?

  7. Thank you so much for all the knowledge. I have a now one year old puppy, and your videos helped a lot of times.

    One thing I am completely unable to understand about people who use aversive methods is the fact that dogs, and every other pet out there, for that matter, is a companion, not a slave. Why get an animal if you’re gonna scare them into listening to you? For me, with every pet I’ve had, I’ve always tried to give them the best life I could, all because I chose to bring them in my life. They didn’t have any say in this. So then why treat them shitty?

  8. Hi Zak!
    I’ve been working with my boy pup for a few years now, and though not perfect, he has come a long way.
    Our issue is that Bixby looks & sounds like he is “aggressive” at the same time as wagging his tail.
    I’ve come to learn that he is overly excited and is more times then not just wanting to say hello & be petted by the human, or wanting to sniff and learn about the other dog.
    Should we stop for the human & him to meet, and they stop petting him when he still wants love, he will start barking at them again.

    Have you seen this type of mixed signaling in dogs? Them just wanting the attention and love, but barking very robustly and constantly, and may not stop until they get the love or are fully removed from the area?

    1. I would suggest to ask your dog to sit and stay calm when approaching friendly people or dogs for at least 30 seconds or more before others can pet him or he can interact with them.

  9. This video gave me a clue about the solution to a potential problem with Marzieh. Thank you. I think I need to teach her to react calmly when someone comes to the front door. Barking to alert me is good but running madly to the front door is not. She has been known to attack a dog who was at the door before her.

  10. Thank you for a great clip with a heap of handy hints.

    My fantastic young dog struggles with over excitement and percieved need to protect her space mostly out in public spaces with off lead dogs not under handlers control or getting too close too quickly.
    She is a friendly dog and loves kids and other dogs but seems to find it all so overwhelming reactions happen.
    Your well presented, kindness & understanding based cue giver tips on reactions are useful and valued.
    Breaking down predatory hunter behaviour into searching, stalking, chasing and catching is helpful for me to work on noticing and being aware of.
    I have reactions too.
    My desire to ‘control’ to prevent possible harm with fear/excitement behaviour has led me to what I see as way to reliant on hauling on my lead (we are working on me learning to release the lead tension she has learnt to lean into). I don’t want that to continue. I still want my clever young dog to be interested and enthusiastic yet safe and listening.
    It takes time and consistency…
    I will look for calmer spaces and put more time into handler patience building and cue improvement through seeking more rewarding replacement behaviour tools and making sure I have the distance from distractions and try not to be rushed.
    Young Eps has coped magnificently with all the numerous rules and tasks that go with training a service dog applicant but still her handler (24/7 side by side) finds herself often in a rush and stuck with busy spaces.
    Thanks for helping inspire more pawsitive and effective cue building.
    🍖 🐕

  11. Finally some clear explanation with a bit of theory to allow everyday people to start understanding what is happening when dog display aggressive behaviour. Great clip thanks!

  12. Your point about the role that ears and tails play in dog to dog body language, let alone our reading of dogs’ language, is so important. This should prohibit any breeders/owners docking the tails and ears of their dogs. Thankfully this practice is banned in the UK.

    1. It may be banned but it’s not enforced. I’ve seen 4 different dogs in my area with docked ears. Everyone seems to know who did it too

    2. Some dogs tails have a high chance to break becoming a very painful medical emergency. And In these cases I would advocate for docking. However I see no reason to crop ears

  13. Thank you for this, I was needing it… My dog is “agressive” due to his anxiety, he is overprotective with his territory and with us. He has never bitten anyone, but he scares people with his barking.

    1. That is based on fear and just work on helping him to be less fearful by making sure that he is not too focused on the enviroment and what happens out there. redirect his focus. He could be focusing on you or what you provide for him which means a lot to him.Once he starts focusing on you and your cues, he will be less reactive to other things. Find out what he is the most excited about when you offer him something personally that is special between you and him and use that. Try not to choose food.

    2. @Saro Dog Training thank you, I’m working on it, but I have to go really slow, so he doesn’t get frutrated. I don’t think he is interested in anything else besides food… What do you suggest?

    3. @The Minimalist Aspie A toy or a game or your words of praise. And if you say that he is not interested in any of those then you need to work on the relationship that you have with your dog. The problem is not the dog.

    4. @Saro Dog Training he plays a lot, he really enjoys it, but I tried it as a currency for training and it didn´t work… I Know, I´m not saying that he is the problem. There might be something that I did´nt do quite well, that I need to correct to improve my relationship with my dog…

  14. Throwing a tennis ball is GREAT relief for my dog. I make every effort to take her outside to play off leash every morning before work. She is disappointed if we miss a morning looking at me in a way as I leave. She is accustomed to it and expects it. Let’s her blow off some steam before being home without me for several hours. She has a high predator drive, chasing down the ball really helps and she loves it!

  15. This could not have come at a better time! A friend of mine has a disabled husky with some aggression issues and in his desperation he resorted to using a trainer with aversive methods. I am taking care of her this week to work on her issues with positive methods and this is a big help ❤️

  16. This video does a great job explaining the reactivity compared to actual aggression or dominance which the majority of cases are more around reactivity. A question that doesn’t seem to get talked about from force free trainers. If your dog is over threshold, (not accepting food or listening) lunging, barking, growling etc., but then you use correction, maintain the same distance and they stop the behavior, start accepting food and can respond to your ques, wouldn’t that imply that the correction helped bring them under threshold into a trainable state?

    I am currently in the progress of making a video on using various methods (positive-reinforcement and balanced) to deal with dog-dog aggression if any one is interested in that.

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