How to Handle Dog Aggression in the Dog Park

There are many reasons why dogs act aggressively. It may be afraid or its space has been violated. It may feel that it needs to protect its master or simply because of the need to dominate. Sometimes what we see as aggression could be just a form of hyperactivity or genuine eagerness. Whatever the circumstances, dog aggression has been a common problem in the dog park. In order to address this issue, we have to take into account the dog’s age, health and temperament.

Be Calm and Decisive

Dogs are sensitive to dog’s feelings. They can identify immediately if a person is tensed or not. They can quickly pick up on a person’s emotions and reflects them with more intensity. They can even notice those emotions even the person himself is now aware. But when a person notices its own feelings and calms himself, the dog also improves its behavior. When the dog gets stressed often, give him a treat or a rewarding experience like bringing them to affordable dog grooming service provider.

A common mistake done by people is cowering and being tensed up, showing his fear to the dog. If we have that fear inside us, the dog will pick up that fear that will trigger the dog’s aggressiveness. One thing not can trigger its aggressiveness is to putting undue tension on the leash. Also, do not pull the dog straight back as it will only lunge forward. Instead, pull him to the side and quickly walk past the other dog.

Teach Your Dog Avoidance

Avoidance is an effective method of preventing dog to dog aggression. Avert your eyes from both dogs and keep walking at a normal pace. With this, the dog will learn to ignore other dogs rather confront it.

Crowding your dog is discouraged. When its personal space is violated by you and other dogs, and it finds itself trapped in between makes them feel irritated. Like a person, when its personal space is violated, it gets annoyed and this causes aggression. Do not stand still when this happens. Do not tug away your dog instead move away and it will follow you. At the same time, you will be giving it space as you both move.

How to Handle Dog Aggression in the Dog Park

Sometimes a dog gets a habit of staring intensely at other dogs as they pass by. Do not allow this behavior. Some people might think that the dog is behaving properly just sitting and watching but in actuality it is waiting for the dog to pass then pounce on it. If you find a dog blocking as you and your dog is about to pass on its direction, then take the initiative to go to the opposite direction to avoid conflict.

Create Space or block the other Dog

Blocking the dog can be done by hiding behind a barrier, for instance a car. You can hide the dog behind any objects, if there are no available objects then block the dog’s view by using your own body. By doing this, we are able to avoid direct confrontation between dogs. There can be other techniques that are effective for blocking too.

Giving the dog a space is an effective strategy to avoid confrontation. Creating a space and then quickly move past the other dog is effective, this works best on some dogs. Dog treats won’t do the trick. Its attention is no longer on you but on the other dog that is coming close. A combination of blocking and using barriers are proven effective for fearful dogs.

How to Handle Dog Aggression in the Dog Park

Some trainees suggest turning and walking away as a means to avoid confrontation but there are problems with this method. First, if your dog turns away there is a possibility that the other dog will be following. As a response, your dog will keep looking back to identify if the dog following is a threat. Second, if the dog keeps on turning away, there is a possibility that you and your dog will get trapped in between dogs other than the primary offender especially when you are inside a crowded dog park.

How to Handle Dog Aggression in the Dog Park

Create Neutral Experiences

Creating a neutral dog-to-dog experience helps reduce aggression. Eventually, after several exposures to neutral experiences, when another encounter with an unknown dog happens it becomes a non-event. Being consistent with neutral greeting gives your dog confidence to face other dogs without being aggressive.

If the dog becomes agitated during a walk, end the outing as soon as possible. Its adrenaline levels are high and most likely will react aggressively to other dogs. In this state, the dog no longer learns and it will be advisable to end the outing before an encounter happens.

Protect Your Dogs

Just like how you give them protection by giving vaccines and providing proper pet grooming, dogs should be protected physically. Protect your dog from rude dogs by walking past quickly if an aggressive dog is spotted nearby. In addition, do not allow other dogs and their owners invade your dog’s space. Ask them nicely to move on if you have a fearful dog and an aggressive dog with its owner approaches.

Keep Greetings Short and Sweet

When your dog is greeting with another dog, interrupt their meeting positively so that your dog can refocus on you. Do this repeatedly, to avoid your dog getting over excited that it loses its control. After two to three seconds of greetings, interrupt them by jogging with the dog away from the scene. Lightly tug, treat the dog well as you move it towards you with loose leash. Interrupt early before it gets obsessed with another dog or person.

Do not put too much expectation on the early trainings you have given. Just like the first time you are grooming your dog, or getting him to know you, it will not be easy. It takes time. Make sure to give treats and rewards to condition its mind. If we teach our dog the right behavior and if we practice how to discern instances that triggers a dog-to-dog confrontation, it will be a lot easier to visit a dog park. Repetition and conditioning its behavior will give positive results. As your dog matures, it will become more poised, less violent, and be more relaxed with new involvements.

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