I am having trouble enrolling my 7 month old dog into beginner dog training classes. Petsmart and a couple others don’t accept dogs with ‘dog aggression’ issues. My dog is an awesome dog but does not like other dogs at all and is cautious of new people too. I don’t know what to do now!


  1. rjn529

    Look in the area for training classes that will accept them.
    Also, in the meantime, get your dog better socialized – start by taking the dog somewhere that they can see other people and dogs, but not be too close to them. When the dog is sitting quietly, playing with a toy or you, quietly praise the pet the dog, and give her the occasional treat.
    Then, when a dog can handle this at a particular distance, move a little closer to the action.
    Do this gradually, a little bit at a time, so the dog can be comfortable first before being thrust into the midst of commotion.
    It will take time, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run.
    And for classes, keep checking your area. Check with local shelters or your vet for recommendations.

  2. safety

    If you attempt this on your own, you may increase any problems with your dog; the correction should not be harsh or ill timed or you will INCREASE the dog’s “aggression”.
    You should have a behaviorist asses if this is real aggression, probably based on fear, or just poor communication and excitement.
    If you have real fear based aggression – then you will want to desensitize and counter condition. This is a process of slowly (with enough distance to avoid high arousal) combining the fear stimulus (other dogs) with an extremely high value treat (never used for anything else). The timing of this is very important and strongly suggest you get a qualified person to help you.
    The following site contains behaviorists and certified trainers, people with real training, not just a website:http://www.apdt.com/ will have listings of certified trainers -probably in your area.
    Books you can use to begin training and building the correct relationship with your dog include:
    Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Good Little Dog Book or
    Before & Affter Getting your Puppy: The Positive Approach
    Or a book written by a teaching dog:
    Sit, Down, Stay: Dog Training so Easy a Human Can Do It. by Dozer P. Kingsbury
    Please do something now, your dog is in a fear imprinting stage and can only get worse, rapidly.

  3. Bunny Lady

    You need a private trainer or go to the library and get a training tape on teaching dog aggressive dogs. You need to take a strong stand with him, using a training collar and be stern when he gets aggressive, let him know you will not tolerate that behavior. Get his mind off the dog and on you by commanding him, sit, down stay.

  4. Rabbyt

    Read some books from the dog whisperer and get a personal trainer for your dog.
    My mother in law had this problem with her dog and found that because SHE got nervous with her dog being around other dogs, her dog could sense that and would bark and try to attack other dogs.
    I think if you read his books and try to bring the dog around people more and be happy and smile and relaxed your dog will relax too.
    Maybe try taking him to some dog parks in the area as well? So he gets used to being around other dogs? But make sure he has a good leash.

  5. jen

    The Humane Society, in the Minneapolis area anyways, offers classes for aggressive dogs as well as wallflowers. Seeing as your pup is only 7 mos. old, I would think that they’d be more than willing to work with you.
    We had a German shepard in one of our classes that wore a wire cage muzzle. There wasn’t any issue. It was also in a huge open gym, so everyone was able to have their own space.
    Good luck!

  6. WP Robot

    Fearfuld, great read suggestions. Add to that “Canine body language” by Brenda Aloff. This book will teach you to read your pups body language so you can redirect his behavior before anything bad happens. The problem with muzzles is that the more restraint you use on your pup, the more fearful it will become. Use a muzzle only if you feel eminant danger.

  7. fearfuld

    Find a trainer to help you. Read
    Click To Calm
    Feisty Fido
    Control Unleashed
    to help you understand how you change how a dog feels about other dogs. Change the feeling and you’ll change the behavior. Do not punish your dog for his behavior, often aggression is caused by fear.

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