How To Stop Dog Aggression Towards People

We tend to think of dogs as lovely animals. Whenever you see a dog around somewhere, your natural instinct would be to pet the dog or rub his/her head. You fantasize about spending time with a dog like going for a walk in a peaceful neighborhood or playing a fun game of frisbee on a beautiful day. Even with all of that being said, the sad reality is that dog aggression can and do happen to people – even to those from the same household as the dog.

That is why it is important for you to know how to stop dog aggression towards people so that you can ensure that people will feel safe around your dog. There are at least a couple reasons why dogs engage in aggressive behavior towards people. One reason is that a lack of socialization can make dogs anxious or frightful around people.

Another reason is that dogs may have experienced abuse by their previous owners. Whatever the reason, here is what you can do to ensure that people will feel safe with your dog around. First things first, you will want to have a leash and harness so that you can restrain your dog in the event that he/she starts to act aggressively towards somebody.

I suggest that you get the BAAPET dog leash as it is comfortable for your hands to hold on to and comes in many colors to choose from. You will also want a no pull harness with a front clip, like this one, because you don’t want to risk injuring your dog’s neck whenever you need to restrain him/her.

Tasty treats will also play a vital role in getting your dog comfortable around people. I suggest that you get the Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats since you can choose from among different kinds of treats like hot dog, bacon and cheese, and chicken.

(Photo courtesy of Mr.TinDC via Flickr)

1. Get Your Dog Comfortable With Strangers

What you will be doing here is to get your dog to feel comfortable with complete strangers outside of your home. You will want to start out in your own front yard. So, put your dog on a leash and head to your front yard. You will want to keep your dog at a distance from a stranger at first as so to keep him/her from reacting to a stranger. So, start out by standing or sitting with your dog by your front door or garage.

As soon as somebody passes by you on the sidewalk, get ready to give your dog a treat once the passerby comes into the sight of the dog. Your ultimate goal is to get your dog to see that being in the presence of seemingly scary people equals good things. So, repeat the same process at least a few more times. Once your dog’s comfort level increases, you can move your dog just a little bit closer to the passing stranger.

Now, when you see a stranger come into sight of your dog, give the dog the treat. Just in case you aren’t aware, you only want to treat your dog when he/she sees somebody and not at any other time. Repeat this process at least a few more times and then continue to gradually move your dog closer to the stranger until the point that you are successfully able to get your dog right in front of a stranger without provoking an aggressive reaction by the dog.

Also, be careful that you don’t overwhelm your dog by exposing him/her to a crowd of strangers. Start out small by focusing on one stranger at a time and then you can slowly expose your dog to an increasing number of strangers at a time.

2. Get Your Dog Comfortable With People You Know

(Photo courtesy of State Farm via Flickr)

It is not only complete strangers that your dog can be aggressive towards. Your dog can also exhibit aggression towards people that you already know – even those who live with you at home include your spouse and children. That is especially true if you have only recently brought home a dog. Your dog may not yet be familiar with living at your home and those who live and visit there.

Small Children

If you have small children at home, you will want to separate them from your dog, at least at first. That is because your dog may find small children to be threatening, depending on how they act around him/her. So, I recommend that you erect a baby gate to help separate your dog from your children.

As far as baby gates are concerned, I think the Cumbor 51.6-inch baby gate would be better because it is made of heavy-duty steel which will allow it to withstand any impact by a large dog. That will ensure that your children will still be protected should your dog behave aggressively towards them. Once the baby gate is erected, give your children an opportunity to socialize with your dog from the other side.

Start out with just one child as not to overwhelm your dog with multiple children at the same time. As soon as your dog starts to see a child, be sure to immediately give your dog a treat. I would suggest that you show your dog the treat at the same time that you are bringing a child to meet with him/her. That way, you can minimize the chances of your dog reacting aggressively as soon as the child comes into view.

Continue to give your dog a treat once every few minutes while the child is present in order to help him/her to feel at ease around the child. Once the child is out of sight, cease with the treats. Continue to repeat this process some more times until your dog feels completely at ease around children. You can also gradually increase the number of children your dog is exposed at a time as his/her comfort level increases.

The Guests

When you have a guest coming to visit you at your home, have him/her knock on the door first. Once that happens, put your dog on a leash so that you can restrain him/her if needed. With your dog on leash, have the guest come inside your home. The very moment that the door starts opening, immediately start giving your dog the treats until the guest is out of sight in another room.

I have mentioned twice in this post that I recommend that you start out with just one person at a time and then you can slowly increase the number of person that your dog is exposed to. The same thing applies to your guests as well.

If you are going to have multiple guests over at your house before you can get your dog comfortable around guests, you will want to keep the dog in a separate room and provide him/her with a treat filled Kong to keep him/her busy until the guests have left your home.

These are the strategies that you will want to use for how to stop dog aggression towards people. What are your thoughts? Is your dog being nice to people? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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