How Anxiety Causes Aggression Issues – Dog Training Manhattan Blog
We’ve all had friends who are tightly wound. Some of us have probably been that friend. They’re anxious, easily startled, and snappy. Oftentimes, it’s due to an isolated incident–a test, a meeting with the boss, fighting with the significant other, Halloween, etc. Tightly wound dogs, however, tend to stay that way. Anxiety and aggression become a part of their behavioral pattern, and before long they’re growling at visitors, snapping as passersby, and making you question just how safe they are to be around.
It’s a common problem, but it can be solved with the right training.
I recently worked with a small dog named Jamboree. Her owner called because Jam was acting overprotective of her, began guarding resources, and showed signs of fear aggression. When I arrived for the in-home consultation, Jamboree met me at the door–luckily on a leash–with her teeth bared and hackles raised. She never really calmed down. At one point, it seemed as if she was sleeping, but she bolted upright the moment I moved. Jamboree’s behavior was causing her owner a lot of grief. The neighbors filed complaints because of Jam’s barking, she couldn’t be boarded, and the owner was unable to have visitors.
I created a training plan for Jamboree, and we got started immediately. The first step was basic obedience training. This helped Jamboree understand exactly where she stood in the dog/owner dynamic and also helped her learn commands and, coupled with proper leash handling techniques, actually listen to her owner. The most important part of any training regimen is consistency, and luckily the owner stayed consistent and found that basic obedience training helped immensely. We also set up a place, or calm down corner, for Jamboree to retreat to while still being around her owner for when she had visitors.
Anxiety in dogs tends to occur when there is a lack of structure. Through these and other training techniques we were able to establish structure as well as teach Jamboree that her owner is in charge.
To learn how I can help your dog realize his/her full behavioral potential, give me a call at 800.649.7297.