German Shepherd Dog is ready to attack another dog

Dog Aggression Prevention & Management

Aggression is a serious problem, and won’t get better on its own. In fact, the passage of time makes finding solutions difficult. Get help at the first signs of irritability in your dog. If you think your dog may have a problem, get help quickly.

Preventing Aggression

  • Frequent and regular interactions with other friendly dogs are important, especially during the dog’s first year of life.
  • Interactions with other dogs should be monitored to avoid adverse responses from overly exuberant play or even aggression from other dogs.
  • Don’t allow barking, growling,or lunging at windows or fences when other dogs pass by.
  • Improve your control by teaching your dog to respond to verbal commands.
  • Learn how to correctly control the leash, as pulling on or tightening the leash may increase aggression.
  • Teach your dog to associate other the presence of other dogs with good things, like especially delicious food treats.
  • Reward your dog for non-fearful and non-aggressive behavior.
  • Good veterinary care is essential, as some medications and some conditions, especially those causing pain, increase aggression.
  • Seek help at early signs of fear or aggression toward other dogs. Aggression is much easier to prevent, than to “cure.”
  • Spay or neuter your dog.

Breaking up dog fights

  • NEVER, EVER reach for the collar. Reaching for the dog can result in redirected aggression and severe injury..
  • Holding a small dog in your arms is equally as dangerous. Sometimes, it’s best to free your dog and give him the opportunity to escape.
  • Making loud noises, splashing with water, grabbing the hind legs are possible methods of breaking up fights. If you must, grab the dog by the hind legs, walk backwards–don’t stop, otherwise the dog may turn around and bite you. Try to get a door and close the door between the dogs.

Safety & Management

  • The first concern is to prevent human, then canine injuries.
  • NEVER allow dogs to “fight it out.” Avoid situations that may evoke an aggressive reaction, such as toys, or food.
  • If the dog is fearful, avoid situations that have scared the dog, even if he doesn’t act aggressive.
  • Aggressive dogs must be confined away from potential victims or under the direct physical control of a responsible adult whenever an aggression-provoking situation could happen. (e.g., in any public locations and on walks)
  • Determine triggers so you know what situations provoke your dog and you can avoid them.
  • Practice an “escape strategy” where you can quickly turn your dog around 180 degrees and leave if you encounter another dog.
  • Using a basket muzzle may be necessary.
  • Dogs that have previous shown aggression to other dogs should not use dog parks or roam off leash.

Leash Walking

  • Until your dog is trained, encounters with other dogs must be prevented. This might mean curtailing walks or exercising the dog at locations and times when other dogs will not be met.
  • If the dog must be walked, only adults with control over the dog should walk him.
  • When on walks, the owner must be vigilant and avoid meeting other dogs or quickly leave the situation if other dogs are encountered.
  • Other peoples loose roaming dogs can present a problem for both the owner and the dog and injuries are possible.