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Categories: Dog Bites

Q. Our 2 year old short-haired pointer has begun to get aggressive. I do not want to put him down, what can we do?
Our two-year-old German Short Haired Pointer has begun to get aggressive. We brought him home from the breeder at 8 weeks. He has been a wonderful gentle loving dog to me my wife and 10 and 13-year-old sons. At 6 months we put him on an electric invisible fence, which has worked perfectly. He has been a wonderful family pet. If we had any problems it was his ?over-friendliness? - jumping on and licking all guests.

A few months ago we noticed he was barking at joggers running by the house. He would even bark at people when we passed them and he was in the car. Then he started barking at the doorbell or knock on the door.

A few weeks ago when a friend entered through a side door (as many, including us do) he barked then growled and showed his teeth.

Last week we had company and one couple brought their 6-month infant. We crated and leashed Norton all day but when brought into the living room he was fine until he saw the baby. They stared at each other until he started to growl and show teeth. Had I not had him on the leash I don't know what would have happened.

Today the meter reader entered the property and our dog (Norton) was in the back running around. My wife happened to be with him but when seeing the meter reader he bolted after him. First barking then growling and then biting at his boot.

It was not that long ago that ANYONE could come to our home and all they needed to worry about was getting licked by a lovable dog.

HELP!!! Any suggestions. Is this behavior reversible? Or are we looking at a muzzle or WORSE?

A. If you are inclined to make an effort this behavior is controllable. I do not think it is irreversible. It has developed as a result of the genetics of the dog and has manifested itself because the dog is going through maturity.

The only way to control it is to establish yourself and your wife as the undisputed pack leaders. This is done through strict obedience. By that I do not mean you go out and kick your dog's butt for not minding, but it does mean that you train your dog so that when a command is given he will follow your direction every time under every circumstance without question. Until you have that kind of control you have a dangerous dog. It should not be allowed around small children and you should have a dog crate for the dog to go in when strangers are at your house.

The dog must also learn what inappropriate behavior is. This is accomplished by you telling him NO. Until he has reached the level of obedience that I explain above, telling him NO will not have a great effect on him. But once he is trained and he shows aggression after he is told NO - then he gets corrected and corrected really kicked hard. I follow the theory of one good correction is worth a million nagging ones. Most people are "naggers" - they hag their dogs to death.

But when it comes to unwanted aggression there is no situation where a middle ground is acceptable. The dog either minds or it is dangerous. It's just that simple. So when people have dogs like this it requires a new mind set for them. Both spouses have to agree to train the dog, both have to understand the correct steps to training and both have to be willing to be consistent and follow through with corrections when they are required. If that is not the case in your home then put the dog down because someone is going to get bit. If you would like to learn something about the principles of obedience training a dog, get my Basic Dog Obedience video and a prong collar.
  
Recommended Products
Dominant Dog Collar
Dominant Dog Collar
$14.50
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:
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Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
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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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Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
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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.

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