Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG BEHAVIOR

Understanding Dog Aggression

By Cesar Millan

Dog aggression is a major dog problem for owners. I want to help you understand the causes of dog aggression, so you can overcome this dog problem. Dog aggression stems from the dog's frustration and dominance. The dog's frustration comes from a lack of dog exercise, and the dog's dominance comes from a lack of calm-assertive leadership.

Breed and Dog Aggression

I deal with a lot of red zone dog behavior cases, and I often hear people incorrectly blaming the breed. Any breed can cause trouble. The difference between an aggressive Chihuahua and an aggressive pit bull is that the bigger breeds can cause proportionately bigger damage.

It is important to recognize the power of a strong breed, like the pit bull, the Cane Corso, and the Mastiff. These dogs are very powerful and, if they are unbalanced, they can cause serious injury. Remember, these dogs don’t dream of being in the news when they grow up. Bad dog behavior and dog problems are not premeditated. Bad things happen when powerful breeds (or mixes of powerful breeds) live with humans who like the breed but don’t understand and fulfill the animal in the dog. Many people consider the look or popularity of a breed before thinking about whether the dog works for their lifestyle. This is a recipe for disaster.

To control a powerful breed of dog, you need to become the dog’s pack leader and establish rules, boundaries, and limitations. You need to fulfill the dog as Nature intended the dog to be fulfilled. If you are considering adopting a powerful breed, make sure you are willing and able to take on the responsibility.

Fear and Aggressive Dogs

For many fear and aggressive dogs, it is a lack of adequate dog exercise that is the root of the dog problem behavior. Dog exercise burns the dog's excess energy and helps maintain the dog's healthy state of mind. This is important because, in order to talk to the mind, you need to remove the energy from the body.

Dog on Dog Aggression

With dog on dog aggression, your dogs are asking you to step up as the pack leader. Animals select pack leaders because they instinctually know who is strong and who can best lead them. An animal pack leader is concerned for the pack, not for himself. His natural instincts are protection and direction for the entire pack. It’s an unselfish role and an instinctual role. And in return, the pack completely trusts the pack leader. You need to earn your dogs’ trust, loyalty, and respect before the dogs will look to you as their leader and you do this by giving them rules, boundaries, and limitations.

Once your dogs see you as their pack leader, the dog on dog aggression will stop as they stop fighting for dominance because you will be their calm-assertive pack leader.

Red Zone Dogs

It is important to understand that red zone dogs are usually frustrated dogs. To control a powerful breed, you need to master the position of pack leader. The sheer size and strength of a pit bull, Mastiff, Cane Corso, Rottweiler, or any other large dog can quickly transform a frustrated and dominant animal into a serious threat. You must gain control of the situation and dog behavior before it escalates.

When dealing with red zone dogs, I start by working with the owners, explaining how to establish themselves as the pack leader and to understand the animal in their dog. This is a crucial part of rehabilitating your dog and overcoming dog problems: changing YOUR behavior. If you revert to your old ways, so will your dog.

How have you changed your behavior to rehabilitate your dog? Tell it all in the comments below.

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