Dog to Dog Aggression


Walk your dog on a lead, and on pavements where you are less likely to meet other dogs off lead. You need to exercise really intense training on the lead, teaching your dog the commands Leave it – come – heel – stay. Even before you get to the stage of walking on the pavement you may find it beneficial to practice this in an enclosed field or your garden, without any distractions, working both on and off a Flexi Lead until you feel you have a good measure of control. When you have achieved all of this, proceed with the following. On the lead, on a pavement, when you see another dog coming towards you, BEFORE your dog sees it, issue the command leave it! In a firm voice and break any eye contact between the dogs by turning and walking in a different direction (use a Gentle leader and a half check collar to achieve this). Really praise your dog if he obeys and keep reinforcing the leave it command and keep walking if he does not. Keep working at this until you feel the time is right to walk your dog past other dogs at a good distance away at first and keep praising the desirable behaviour.

You will need to find a sociable dog of the opposite sex of your own. If you have a male, choose someone who has a nice, stable, friendly and fairly submissive bitch (preferably both dogs should be neutered). Dogs of the opposite sex usually find each other less threatening than dogs of the same sex. Start going for walks together. Walk on lead and parallel to each other. Gradually decrease the distance between them until they are happily walking side by side. Walk on neutral territory – i.e. places that are unfamiliar to both dogs. When you are doing this successfully, move onto the next step, which is the introduction. On long loose leads, and monitoring both dogs body language, gently introduce the dogs. When you can see they are getting on o.k. then drop the leads and back away so that they realise that they have not got your support. When you are absolutely sure that they are happy, take the leads off. Do not give either dog attention or tit bits as this may cause the dogs to tense up and possibly fight. Do this as much as you can, and preferably on a daily basis.. When you have succeeded with the first dog, try more dogs, one at a time, and then you can gradually work up to dogs of the same sex, but proceed at your dog’s pace and do not expect him to like every dog he meets. Agility classes are a good way to find other dogs to socialise with.