...who act threatening around other dogs.
It may sound strange, but I LOVE working with this behavior.
From your dog's point of view, there is a bully causing problems and it's your dog's responsibility as the hero, to stop it. The bully (or perceived bully in most cases) is the other dog, in your dog's eyes.
I use the term bully, because it makes it easier for us to understand how our dogs may be feeling.
We can't change our bullies, but we can choose how to respond.
So can dogs, providing we teach them appropriate skills to replace threatening behaviors.
Choosing aggression usually makes things worse. Choosing to walk away, many times can make things better. Choosing to accept, embrace and love is the best possible outcome.
Your dog is not bad.
To determine if your dog is displaying threatening behavior, we need to look at several factors. Aggression (threatening behavior) can look like:
Growling, snapping, lunging, barking, nipping, biting.
These behaviors can also be appropriate in certain situations.
If your dog is displaying these behaviors, quite likely, your dog is:
Afraid of something.
Feels his or her life is in danger.
Thinks something is being taken away.
Interprets that someone they love is being threatened.
Has other underlying reasons for acting this way.
You'll be more successful if you start training when you think...
"Was my dog just being aggressive or getting bullied?"
You'll be less successful if you start training
as a last resort.
If you feel you have a dog that is not appropriate for your family, separate the animals or/and humans that may be in danger. Now.
There are lots of options. I'll listen without judgement and be compassionate, kind and realistic.
Safety first. I'll be straight with you in sharing my opinion and helping find a safe solution, which may include:
Weekly training sessions to change behavior.
Suggesting a second opinion.
Helping you find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist.
or/and discussing other options.
A Veterinary Behaviorist has achieved the title of Veterinarian plus has continued education to specialize in the field of behavior.
I am not a Veterinarian. I'm a dog trainer very interested and experienced in serious behavior issues, especially reactive dogs. I continue my education, pay attention to new scientific studies and at least once a year consult with a Veterinarian to verify my methods are appropriate. Sherry Clark