Dog Behavior Overcoming Fear Aggression

Having a happy go lucky dog that just loves every dog or person they meet is nice to have, but is not a prerequisite for proper dog ownership. Some dogs prefer to keep to themselves.

Depended on the degree of fear aggression or nervousness in a particular dog, some dogs the best you can hope for with the behavioral training is a dog that will ignore the perceived threat in his mind. Even then some of the more nervous dogs will keep a watchful eye on whatever makes them nervous, you can help them to the point where they shouldn’t act defensive (barking and / or growling). But as far as the dog being happy or totally relaxed, you can forget about it. Your goal is you just don’t want them to act crazy, when they encounter people or animals.

There are a small percentage of dogs that regardless of how much time you spend with them trying to get them over whatever fears they may have, are never going to be 100% happy to see every new dog or person that you invite into your home or meet on the street.

Any person whether their a dog trainer, animal behaviorist or Mary from down the street that really, really knows dogs really well. That tells you that with the proper behavior modification training and a sufficient amount of socialization, that yes, you to can have the next Lassie instead of having a dog that came out of a Steven King novel. Just doesn’t know dogs well enough. Although it is a wonderful thought.

The vast majority of dogs once you learn how to get them happy in those situations that tend to make them nervous, will wind up being happy and relaxed with most new dogs or people they meet. Not all dogs and not all people, but most.

The Spirit Dog

No more Dog Aggression

No more Dog Aggression

Copyright © 2009 a.s.papszycki

4 Responses

  1. Ok, this might not fit under this post but here goes. I have a couple of issues that I still haven’t gotten a handle on with my terrier cross. Long story – shelter dog, scared stiff in the shelter and I knew sqaut about dog behaviour, having only had well-behaved ones before. So when I got her home and she settled down I found I had a complete basket case on my hands. Basically terrified of EVERYTHING. A few years and lots of love work and “cookies” later (BTW what’s the deal with the ‘no-clicker/food advice earlier? I think I’m missing the relevant posts to that.) I have a dog that can relax in lots of situations. We even compete in agility which makes her a HAPPY dog.

    Remember, that was the short story! So, when in the back yard she will go nuts at a cat in the neighboring yard or at people going by in the street. Hackles up, full-out bounding run and, listen? oh no, I get IGNORED until I get pissed and then she listens. Grrr. Similarly with the front window and people/dogs going by. She has clawed up several incarnations of curtain and some furniture arms and the window in her intensity to bark. Hackles full up at the window, deep-throated “intruder” bark etc.
    This is the one (two?) behaior that makes me want to clobber her. I can be patient beyond belief with her but since I don’t know what I am dealing with I can’t formulate a proper strategy.
    She is not afraid of people in general. This has been her one good area, loves people.

    I can call her off in a high pitched happy voice from the window or I can just tell her “off” now and she quits. But it doesn’t keep her from doing it next time. In the yard “fence chasing” I look like an idiot trying to get myself in proximity to her to get her to cut it out. Occaisionally getting in her way makes her stop, usually she just dives around me. Did I mention she is a fast little spitfire? 5+ Yards per second on some of our runs. I can’t catch her!

    I have a very good bond with this dog for the most part, just can’t figure out what I am looking at here.

  2. Hello Jenn,

    The get them happy thing has to be practiced before you put your dog into those stressful situations. One of the goals in all training or behavior modification, is to get your dog to pay attention to you whenever you want. Is Goldy happy when he gets to the park, or is it just more stress for him ? And how often do you actually go “parking”. ( Hey, I just made that “Parking” thing up, I kinda like it) But then again, melting snow amuses me.

    Anyway, one thing you can do is practice getting Goldy in your car, sit there with him a couple minutes giving him confident baby talk, with a lot of touching and petting, then let him out of the car and do it again and again and again and again and again and, well you get the idea.
    Remember you are not going anywhere, you’re just sitting in your driveway.

    Let me know how you make out.

    Al

  3. When you say “get them happy” in those situations which make them nervous, what do you sugeest to do? Goldy is very nervous in the car, avoids me when he knows we’re going somewhere. We really only put him in the car when we go to the park…why doesn’t he associate the car with good feelings?

  4. […] Originally posted here: Dog Behavior Overcoming Fear « The Spirit Dog […]

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