Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy


or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Possessive and Territorial Aggression in Dogs

Treatment

 

You are probably not going to “cure” this aggressive dog, however, controlling the behavior is the goal. If the number of aggressive incidents can be decreased, you should feel that you have succeeded. A dog-training specialist can help you develop safety and management tools.

 

Safety should be the primary concern. Avoid situations that may bring on an aggressive reaction. If your behaviorist recommends punishment/dominance-based training techniques, you may want to seek alternative help, as it may escalate aggression. There are better ways to deal with the problem.

 

Feed the dog in a confined space and do not give it items that might incite aggressive behavior. Confine it to areas where people can neither be heard nor seen. Finally, teach your dog to wear a head halter and basket muzzle.

 

In extreme cases, it may be necessary to put the dog down (euthanize), as it is sometimes the only way to assuredly prevent your dog from injuring others -- especially those that have already been involved in an incident or incidents.

 

Living and Management

 

Behavior modification requires patience and consistency. It also takes time before the results are visible. In the presence of aggression-provoking stimuli, try desensitizing and counter-conditioning techniques. Use basket muzzles for safety when working with the dog.

 

Teach it first to sit and relax on a verbal command. Do this in a neutral location and use food rewards in tiny pieces to avoid food aggression during these exercises; reward non-aggressive behavior also. Gradually increase the level of stimulation, being careful to stay below the threshold that will result in aggression. Remember, patience will be important, as progress is slow coming. Just when you think you’ve made a difference, there could be signs of a setback. It’s important to remain firm with the training exercises.

 

While there are medications on the market for this behavioral disorder, they are not recommended. If your veterinarian does prescribe medication, it should only be utilized in association with behavior modification. It should never be utilized alone, as it will not solve the problem.

 

 

Related Articles

When Your Dog is Overly Aggressive Towards ...
Inter-dog aggression occurs when a dog is overly aggressive towards dogs in the same...
READ MORE
Thunderstorm Phobias in Dogs
Thunderstorm phobia is a disorder in which there is persistent and exaggerated fear...
READ MORE
Aggression in Dogs Toward Familiar People
While some consider aggression to be normal behavior in dogs, it can be impulsive,...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

5 Reasons Life Stage Diets Help Improve Pet ...
Balanced and complete nutrition is important for any animal. However, the nutritional...
READ MORE
How Your Overweight Pet Could Benefit from ...
Pet obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Fortunately, there are some things...
READ MORE
What Are Lean Proteins and How They Can Help ...
Protein is an important component in your pet's food, but not all proteins are the...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM