Patterns of Predation Before dogs became pets, they were wild and lived by preying on animals big and small. Dogs would gather together to chase down an older, younger, or injured animal, grabbing the jugular vein or abdomen, resulting in a kill. All of the dogs would feed in turn, and bring some back to … Continued
Fear of Visitors = Barking at the Door Halloween is a fun holiday – for you humans. But from a dog’s perspective, however, it can be a little scary for us. Not only are our humans dressing strangely, but there are strangers at the door or in the house, and according to dog logic, that’s … Continued
You may know many techniques for dealing with your reactive or aggressive dog, but with many dogs, to get the results you want you need a clear step-by-step plan. First you need to realize that every interaction is a training session, so what you do outside of official sessions may undermine your progress. Second, for fast and enduring results it’s often essential to improve the dog’s impulse and emotional control. Third, your training will require good technique and an integrative approach and should focus on creating a dog who is happy, focused and calm.
With all of the dog bite attacks that circulate in the news, you may sometimes worry; what if that were you?
As a veterinarian focused on behavior and an avid runner, I’ve dealt with a lot of dogs charging towards me and threatening to bite. In spite of working with aggressive dogs as well as running by off-leash dogs on a daily basis, I have only been bitten—minor bites— a few times over the last 20 years. What’s the secret? The number one secret is to stay calm. The more you scream and try to move the more aroused you’ll make the dog—here are the two scenarios.
Whether you are in the U.S., Indonesia, Australia or China, one thing is true about the dogs; they love to chase things passing by their property. Mailmen, cyclists, runners pedestrians and even cars, a dog could be lying seemingly in deep sleep and in a blink he’s on red alert. He flies out barking at full speed and after the person or object disappears in the distance, the dog returns triumphantly—and chalks up another win. It’s a success that fuels the motivation to repeat the behavior again.
As one might expect, if these dogs can leave their property, then this territorial behavior becomes particularly bothersome to passersby. In fact in regions where dogs are regularly able to roam, such as on the Island of Bali or the streets of Fiji, or an Aboriginal town camp, the behavior has lead to conflict within the community. Dogs bark at and chase people, people get scared, and they often respond by carrying sticks or throwing rocks, which leads to increased aggression from the dogs.
Last time we looked at how to use a science-based approach (use of counterconditioning) to dealing with dogs with food bowl aggression and saw that by approaching the problems systematically the solution was pretty straightforward. So how do we tweak that approach to the case where the dog is food aggressive only towards other dogs?