Dog Aggression

Dog to dog aggression is a very common problem  and generally caused by traumatic  experiences where a dog has been attacked or threatened or even played with roughly  by another, so now expects  other  dogs to attack it, or inadequate  socialization .Aggression may be hormonal (intact males or females  on heat ) or territorial, or may be resource guarding ( see that topic ) but is usually FEAR based.  Some dogs are  over excited to meet another  and  their enthusiasm  is not welcomed  by another  dog  and leads  to a fight . Sometimes  dogs are only aggressive  on leash, but fine off it,  because they feel they cant get away if threatened , so offence is the best form of defense .

The key to resolving dog to dog aggression  is not to punish, which will only  reinforce the dog ‘s idea that other  dogs predict bad things  happening  and increase the aggression next time, but to change the  dog’s expectation of other  dogs  to a positive  one .


We do this by using psychology – classical conditioning and operant learning , or to put it another way -ABC- Antecedent , Behavior  , Consequence . Behavior is changed by  changing either  the  antecedent, or how the dog feels about it - (the trigger or  cue that starts the behavior ) or the consequence(what the dog gets out of the behavior ).

Dogs learn by association when emotional  so the key is to teach your  dog when it is calm and  to set up training so  the  dog is able to be  calm.  There are a number of techniques which enable us to do this very successfully and usually relatively quickly. The majority of my many 5 star reviews are from clients who had this problem .

We are working on changing the dogs ‘s expectation to a positive  one so the  sight of another  dog predicts good things , and  we are teaching the dog to disengage  from the trigger (dog ) and  focus back to us .   

Because  we have a number of positive  techniques to choose from , we can   make it easy  for the dog to stay calm, feel safe,  and be focused on us  .

A common question is ‘”What if my dog  doesn’t want a reward ?”  In that case  we choose the technique that gives it what it wants  more  - distance , or a safe place . Rewards don’t  have to be food !

I promise you this problem is easy to  solve – if you understand how learning happens  and  do it the right way.

I can show you  the techniques  to resolve  this  in one afternoon , you will see improvement  in the  consult , and with practice,  most clients find the  dog is no longer reactive  within a few weeks to a few months(depending on how much you can practice ).

Over 120 5 Star Reviews - Please read what my clients say...

Teaching both ends of the leash

Contact Us

  •  0452 466 031
  •  Ridgehaven, South Australia