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Categories: Dog Aggression

Q. We recently took in a foster dog and my dog has become aggressive. Why has my dog changed all of a sudden?
I adopted an 8 month old0 Pitt/Vizla mix from the humane society 4 months ago. She was an extremely great pet. Very loving, we could poke at her paws, ears and mouth. She loves to play with other dogs. This past week I began fostering a 10 month American Bulldog that she had previously played with. He is also a loving secure dog. Since the foster has come into our lives - my dog has become aggressive to my husband and myself. She won't let us look at her paws or rub her belly. She begins to low growl and then snap at us. She has been in training since I got her since she is a somewhat frightened dog. I'm at a loss, I don't want to lose her, and am willing to find a new home for the foster (we were planning on adopting him). Why has she changed all of a sudden?

A. There are many reasons that a dog can become aggressive:

Coming into maturity and wanting to establish a higher rank
Jealousy, etc.

None of that really matters at the moment. What's important it making the decision to fix the problem or to give the dog up.

Frankly this dog is the way it is because you have allowed it to display bad behavior without doing anything about it. So the problem falls to your shoulders. I don't want to offend but I also won't sweet talk the issue.

In my opinion the solution needs to start with three things all at the same time:

1 - The dog should begin to go through a pack structure program. I did a DVD on this, Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet.

2 - The dog must quickly learn that aggression to you results in unacceptable consequences. This is accomplished through the use of a dominant dog collar and a very good leather leash. I did a DVD on this too, Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs.

3 - While both of the above things are happening you should be showing your dog that you can be an interesting, fun, and consistent pack leader. This is done through MARKER TRAINING.

Marker training is simply a motivational training method to teach a dog a language that allows the handler to communicate with their dog. In the beginning markers are used to teach behaviors (come – sit – down, etc.). With experience, it will be used in the daily life of living with your dog.

So the first two points establish yourself as a leader, the third shows the dog that there is a fun and interesting side to you.

As far as this new dog goes, in my opinion, all of these problems are a result of the mistakes you made in how you introduced these dogs. Don't feel bad, most inexperienced dog owners make the same mistakes. I wrote an article titled How to Introduce a New Dog into a Home with Other Dogs.

Good luck and I hope I didn't offend you.

Ed Frawley
Recommended Products
Dominant Dog Collar
Dominant Dog Collar
This collar is not intended to give a painful correction. It is intended to take the air away from a dominant aggressive dog. More dogs are put to sleep everyday for aggression problems than they are properly trained. Killing a dog must ALWAYS be the last resort. Learning how to use a dominant dog collar can and will often make the difference between having a dog put down or ending up as a pack leader and a dog the you can live with. Some dogs will often get over-stimulated by a prong collar resulting in a more hectic and aggressive dog. The Dominant Dog Collar is designed to be used on handler aggressive or dog aggressive dogs. Using a Dominant Dog collar correctly on the takes the drive and fight out of the dog. Leerburg's Dominant Dog Collars If you have a problem with dog aggression or a dominant dogs, we recommend that you get the Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs DVD. We also have an extensive collection of articles pertaining to dominant and aggressive dogs We recommend you read the article on Dealing with the Dominant Dog written by Ed Frawley. Individuals who use this collar for handler aggression should have their dog undergo through a solid pack structure program. For adult dogs, we recommend the Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet DVD. For puppies, we recommend the Living with Your Puppy - Establishing Pack Structure DVD. Due to government restrictions, countries such as Australia and a few in Europe do not allow the use of remote or electric collars. These dominant dog collars are a viable alternative.

Option 1:
Option 2:
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
4 Hours
The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves. Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact, far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply do not know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a pack leader or they may have heard they need to be an ALPHA with their dog but they do not understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.

Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
In my DVD, I provide 3 1/2 hours of information to help people solve their problems with dominant dogs and aggressive dogs. This information is based on 45 years of experience training dogs. For the last 30 years I have studied the art of protection training dogs. I was a police K9 handler for 10 years, and was chairman of the training committee for the WI police dog association for a number of those years. I have bred German Shepherds for police service work for 28 years. During this time I have bred over 350 litters of working dogs. I have dogs from my kennel working in law enforcement, Search and Rescue and competing in Schutzhund all over this country. No one I know in the United States can make these claims.


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