Does Correcting My Dog Make Him More Aggressive?

Here’s the deal: If your dog is biting you, and it’s motivated by dominance aggression, and you correct him, and he becomes more aggressive, then the short answer is that you’re playing the “broom stick game.”

In other words, you correct him, then he corrects you harder. Then you correct him harder. Then he corrects you harder. However, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

From a theoretical context, if the dog truly is coming at you with dominance aggression… then you need to immediately jump to the “top of the broom stick” and let him know that you win.

The sound bite answer regarding how to do this is to give him such a correction, that he never thinks of challenging you again. But the “real world” answer is that HOW to do this isn’t exactly so easy. Especially if you’re dealing with a big dog, that is pain insensitive.

In many cases, I’ve found that you can set up the conflict (dominance scuffle between you and the dog) so that you KNOW you will win. I’m working with a 125 lbs. Black Lb/Shepherd mix that was a real hard head. Even with the large pinch collar on, and using proper technique, I could not give him a motivational correction, and he would simply turn around, smile at me, and then try to take off a few fingers!So, I started working with him with a muzzle, and the electric collar. Sometimes, you don’t even need to correct them with such a high setting on the collar.

I think that it’s just that it’s a different texture, that it gets the message through to the dog. Now, what I did with this dog was to synchronzie the e-correction with my manual leash correction. And after only 2 sessions… he got the picture that it was NOT IN HIS BEST INTEREST to try to correct me. And so, I’d established myself as the Alpha. Even if I have to correct him with the leash and collar, IT’S NOW MORE THAN MOTIVATIONAL ENOUGH, because he remembers that I can give him a real motivatinal correction, if I need to.

So, I’ve established that he needs to respect me. If the dog starts out with dominance aggression (which is why he’s trying to bite you when you take away food)… and you over-correct him… he may become defensive, rather than submissive. At this point, if you continue to correct him, he WILL become more aggressive. Instead, you should (WARNING: SOUND BITE ANSWER COMING) cease the correction, and just maintain distance with the leash… and then transer his attention to something else, to break the tension. Like taking him over to the crate to relax. Or put him in a down-stay position.

Honestly though, to see the switch from dominance to defensive aggression is something you’re not going to be able to accomplish by reading a book, or watching a video.

It comes from years of working with aggression… so again… it’s probably best to work with a professional if you find yourself in this type of situation.