Treatment of aggression problems is the most challenging of all behavior modification programs, and requires the guidance of a trainer with years of hands-on experience to be successful. Incorrect diagnosis and treatment can make things much worse, and because of the nature of the problem, can be dangerous for your dog and all who come in contact with him, including family. Please do not delay in asking for help with an aggression problem, time is of the essence! Many of our YouTube videos feature aggression treatment, but you would never know, because th e dog is not being aggressive! We focus on training your dog on what you want him to do instead of being aggressive, not just what you do to your dog when he becomes aggressive! For example, the featured video is of Maggie the Golden Retriever, who used to steal items from the kid’s rooms, run under the table, and growl or snap when the owners and their children approached her. In the video, you see her retrieving these same objects and willingly giving them to us!
In the video above you will see Beth and Moses, who were very aggressive towards guests when they came to the door. Now, they go to their places away from the door when guests come in, effectively removing the territorial aspect to their aggression!
Quite a few of the dogs in our Advanced Group Class videos have aggression problems also, and are there to work on high level obedience around distractions.
Behavior Modification is a very technical type of training that not all trainers have experience in implementing. High level obedience training is also very important, perhaps more important than with any other dog. It is hard to find a training company that offers both, and virtually impossible to find a behaviorist that does both. Many veterinarians and veterinary behaviorists prescribe medication for aggression problems, but rarely is medication effective without behavior modification and obedience training. It is important to take a comprehensive approach in treatment of these problems because it is not only dangerous for humans who come in contact with the aggressive dog, but potentially life-threatening for the dog as well.
Be particularly wary of a trainer who advocates using a punitive approach to aggression. Using punishment for aggression is rarely effective, and increases the risk that someone is going to get bitten.