Getting a new puppy is an exciting and fun experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. One of the most common issues new puppy owners face is behavior problems, such as aggression. Aggression can be a serious problem if not addressed properly, as it can lead to injury to both humans and other animals. In this blog, I will discuss what you should do if your puppy exhibits behavior problems, specifically aggression:
– 1. Identify the type of aggression. Aggression is a very general term. Here are some different types of aggression: Aggression because of lack of Social skills, Leash aggression, dog to dog aggression, human aggression, Stranger aggression, Fear aggression, Resource guarding (food, toys or humans), Territorial aggression, Trigger aggression (hats, uniforms, gender etc), Conditioned aggression (water sprays bottles, canes, brooms, sticks etc), Dominance aggression, Redirection aggression, Pure aggression (killer instinct) and probably other types that I haven’t mentioned. As you can see there is a wide range of different types of aggression that are treated very differently.
– 2. Identify the cause of the aggression The next step in addressing your puppy’s aggression is to identify the cause. When does the aggression start and why? Is your puppy under stress? Is it fear based? Is your puppy being dominant? Is your puppy in pain? Is your puppy overstimulated or frustrated? Is your puppy getting enough sleep or down time? Understanding the root cause of the aggression will help you develop a plan to solve the issue.
– 3. Knowing the difference between Behavior Training and Obedience Training will save you a lot of time, money and energy. Going to a basic obedience group class will not make much of a difference. Once you have identified the cause of your puppy’s aggression and consulted with a professional, it’s time to implement training and behavior modification techniques. These can include Behavioral Training, coping skills, desensitization, counter-conditioning and management strategies.
– 4. Consult with a professional If your puppy’s aggression is severe or you are unsure of how to address it, it’s important to consult with a professional. A dog behaviorist, dog trainer with aggression experience or a vet behaviorist can assess your puppy’s behavior and provide guidance on how to address and solve the issue.
– 5. Be consistent and patient Addressing your puppy’s aggression will take time and patience. It’s important to be consistent with training and behavior modification techniques and to give your puppy time to learn new behaviors. Consistency is key in ensuring your puppy understands what is expected of them.
– 6. Stay calm and present. It’s important to stay calm and present when addressing your puppy’s aggression. Getting frustrated or angry will only make the situation worse. Instead, stay patient and positive.
Addressing your puppy’s aggression requires knowledge, patience, consistency, and most likely the guidance of a professional. By identifying the cause of the aggression, consulting with a professional and implementing a behavior modification plan, you will be able to overcome your puppy’s aggression issues and become a well-behaved and happy member of your family.
© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC | All Rights Reserved May 2023