©  LINDA S. GREENFIELD / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

© LINDA S. GREENFIELD / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Aggressive Dogs

 or

Reactive Dogs


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If any animal (including humans!) has teeth, it can bite.

It is much easier to prevent the majority of dog biting issues with training early in a dog’s life & owner awareness & prevention education.

Even though it is scary, any dog that growls & shows it's teeth instead of biting, actually tells me that dog is probably an excellent candidate for training.

Just because a dog growls, shows it's teeth & has nastily nipped once does not necessarily make it an aggressive dog.

These may be signs that you are unaware that you & your dog are having major relationship issues & a total communication breakdown!

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Anytime a dog uses it’s teeth on human skin, I will bet money that another bite will happen in the future.

When your dog uses mouthing or biting as an option for dealing with any situation, this behavior will continue with very serious consequences so it must be managed immediately.

All dog bites must be taken very seriously because one bite tends to escalate to more, guaranteeing that any person in your home or the public, especially children, can be dramatically & permanently injured, both physically & emotionally.

Once your dog develops a biting issue, it is very unlikely that just training the dog will resolve the aggressive behavior.

Training the dog, combined with training the owner on how to prevent & deal the situations that trigger your dog's aggressive behavior, have proven to be a more successful management approach for most dogs.

Read below about the types of dog aggression I commonly see


Common Types of Dog Aggression

 

 

A - Dog to human aggression

Dog biting problems are often inadvertently created by dog owners/ parents that:

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  • allow their puppy or young dog to "play" nip, mouth & grab at humans with their mouth

  • spoil their dog until at some point the dog feels it has the “right to discipline" people by biting because your dog believes it is the leader of your home

  • put their dogs in situations where the dog feels it must defend itself is by biting

  • do not teach their children how to behave in a safe & respectful way around dogs

 

 

B - Dog to Dog Aggression

These 2 categories of dog to dog aggression are the most common & usually manageable with training & constant precautions:

1 - Multiple Dog Households

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Multiple dogs living together will form a hierarchy based on personality traits of dominancy & submissiveness.

Sometimes they will disagree over which dog has first right to toys, food, you.

Dog fights can erupt when you least expect them.

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While scary, most of these dog fights rarely have serious bites from one dog to another.

Often it is dog owners trying to break up a dog fight that are the ones that get bitten.

Household dogs getting into scraps & outright fights can be signs that:

your dogs may have similar dominant personalities

your dogs do not respect you as their pack leader & are taking on that role

some dogs are just born with more aggressive tendencies

Training plus dog owner management skills can usually create a peace treaty.

 

 

2 - Reactive Dogs

There are dogs that have fear reactive personalities, a hereditary pre-disposition.

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When these dogs are stressed, they have a very strong fear reaction to what they are perceiving as stressful.

They can find common situations stressful such as house guests, children playing loudly, a trip to their veterinary’s waiting room, a leash walk in the neighborhood, etc.

If they cannot avoid or escape the situation that triggers their fear, their fear builds to anxiety until the dog reacts with increasing aggressive behavior towards what they feel fear towards.

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These behaviors often start with glaring, growling, out of control barking, lunging on leash, chasing and trying to bite at what they fear.

Even though the reactive dog’s aggression is directed at what it fears, many dog owners get bitten as they try to control their dog in these reactive situations. 

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Since reactive dogs are often extremely devoted, loving & are often overly dependent on their owners, most reactive dog owners are quite shocked when they themselves are bitten.

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Because these dogs often seem to response quickly to training because they usually have a strong desire to please their owners, I must remind the owners of reactive dogs that since the reactiveness is a genetic part of their personality, these dogs will always have a tendency to be reactive.

My long & extensive experience with reactive dogs is that their fears can be greatly reducedsuccessfully managed in the majority of reactive dogs with on going training & safety precautions.


Aggressive Dog Program Training Fees:

(all sessions are about 60 minutes each)

Required: 

Aggressive Dog Evaluation with Owner Management Training: $85

Before I decide whether I am willing to work with you & your dog concerning any aggression issues, I must take extensive information from you & then personally evaluate your dog as well as your ability to manage your aggressive dog. 

Safety for your and your family is my main agenda.

Basic prevention skills & management suggestions will be provided.

This $85 fee for this initial session can be applied to the purchase of the 3 session package below as the first session.


Aggressive Dog Training 

Managing & working with any dog's aggression issue is a major commitment that a dog owner must be willing to take seriously, perhaps for the rest of the dog's life.

I will not work with any aggressive dog and their owners without their commitment of pre-purchasing this 6 session package.

An on-going plan is needed for:  

safety management, prevention

positive reinforcement training.

Positive reinforcement training will help you to rebuild the old relationship you have with your dog while progressively changing your dog's aggressive attitude towards that of tolerance & of cooperation.

Prepaid Aggressive Dog Packages:

1 - Initial 3 Sessions for $255

(value of $85 / session)

(This package includes the initial dog evaluation with owner management training.)

2 - Additional Follow-up Packages of 3 sessions for $225

(value of $75 / session)

I strongly recommend 1 weekly training session for 6 consecutive weeks of training.

As long as dog owners are consistent with the lessons and their homework training during these 6 sessions, most dogs improve remarkably with manageable control, and often with dramatic changes in aggressive responses.

* PLEASE NOTE: Although many aggressive dogs can seem to be "cured" of their aggressive tendencies fairly quickly, owners must remain diligent in maintaining & supporting their new relationship with their dog for the remainder of their dog's life to help prevent any recurrence of their dog's innate & learned aggressive tendencies.


Reactive Dog Program Training Fees

(sessions are about 60 minutes each)

Before I decide whether I am willing to work with you & your dog concerning any aggression issues, I must take extensive information from you & then personally evaluate your dog. 

Required:  

Reactive Dog Evaluation with Owner Management Training:  $85

Almost all Reactive Dogs can be trained to be less reactive & you can be trained to have the skills needed to prevent, manage & handle your dog's reactions with safe techniques.

This $85 fee for this initial session can be applied to the purchase of the 3 session package below as the initial session.


2 Prepaid Reactive Dog Packages:  

1 - Initial 3 Sessions for $255

(value of $85 / session)

This package includes the initial dog evaluation with owner management training.

2 - Additional Follow up Packages of 3 sessions ($75 x 3) for $225

(value of $75 / session)

I recommend a weekly training session for the first 3 weeks of training.

Then 3 additional training sessions usually given every 2 weeks until the dog's owner becomes skilled in preventing their dog from reacting and getting their dog quickly under control when their dog does react.

*  Most Reactive Dogs & their owners need at least 2 - 6 months of supervised training to have consistent manageable control.

Even after many weeks of training, many Reactive Dogs can seem non-reactive.

Yet all Reactive Dogs will always tend to be fear reactive in new or stressful situations because it is in their genetic makeup.


There Are the Really "Bad" Dogs

Sadly, there are some dogs that born with highly aggressive natures and they will become repeat bite offenders:

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  • Some with extremely high fear reactive personalities that can be lessened with continuous training, not cured, & sometimes can be successfully managed.

  • Some that are born very dominant & constantly challenge any authority, sometimes these dogs can be successfully managed with strict guidelines as well as continuous reinforcement training.

    This depends on their inclination to bite & the dog's size.

  • Some dogs have little to no inhibition to bite impulsively.

    This is often refered to as "sharpness" & is a hereditary personality trait that is difficult to modify), very dangerous

  • Some dogs puncture bite: the bite breaks through the skin & punctures muscle.

    Puncture bites can often seriously tearing human flesh

    Some dogs clamp down with a puncture bite.

    Puncture bites are often a hereditary trait.

    Puncture bites should be considered changeable, and extremely dangerous.

  • Some dogs are born with a hereditary neurological disorder called "Rage Syndrome" (considered a type of seizure) that is absolutely not curable or trainable.

    Euthanizing these dogs can be very difficult for many owners because most of these dogs actually have "nice", even “sweet” dispositions - until they "rage" & start mindlessly and uncontrollably biting repeatedly.

    They usually seriously hurt their owners or children.

    Unfortunately the "rages" are completely unpredictable.

    This makes these dogs always a very serious bite injury risk.

 

 

These are all signs of a very dangerous dog:

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  • any dog with a history of repeated bites (even "minor" bites), 

  • any dog whose bite tears human flesh,

  • any dog that puncture bites into human muscle,

  • any dog that bites & holds onto any human body part.

I strongly recommend that such dogs be euthanized.

Unfortunately, every dog that I have ever sadly recommended over the past 30 years be euthanized and the owners choose not to euthanize their dog, eventually each of these dogs seriously harmed & maimed a human (usually several), resulting in the dog being euthanized in spite of the owner’s guilt delay. 

Please don't let this horrible trauma happen to any person.

Remember, that person is likely to be one of your loved ones.