Let’s review the Three Keys You Must Know To Fix Dog Aggression
Timing: Timing is the ability for the dog to associate either a positive or negative outcome in response to his specific behavior. In this case, the dog must understand that displaying aggression will be met with a negative outcome, and he must be able to ASSOCIATE this negative with his behavior (the aggression).
Consistency: Being consistent means that every time your dog exhibits a specific behavior, he must get the same response. As mentioned before, mother nature knows how this works very well. She protects her rose bushes by putting thorns in them. Have you ever wondered why dogs don’t jump into rose bushes? Because every time they do, they get pricked by the thorns! So in other words, they receive a NEGATIVE association every time they exhibit this behavior.
Motivation: Most people know about timing and consistency. But motivation is what separates the Big Dogs from those who sit on the porch and watch. Being motivational simply means that everything you do must have MEANING! In other words, if a cop were to give you a ticket (a correction) for speeding, but the ticket is only for $2… is it going to be motivational enough to get you to stop speeding? Of course not. But what if that ticket was for $2,000! I bet you’d stop speeding pretty darn quick! And that’s because the cop’s ticket had meaning, thus it was MOTIVATIONAL. Make sure everything you do with your dog is motivational, be it praise or corrections.
In regards to dog aggression, your dog must associate a good, motivational correction every time he displays his aggression… and then when he decides that showing aggression IS NOT in his best interest, give him lots of motivational praise to reward him! To be honest, if you’re having aggression problems with your dog (and hey, let’s face it… you probably wouldn’t be reading this part of the book if you weren’t!)… then you need professional help. Dog training, especially learning to train a dog with an aggression problem, is a lot like learning how to drive an automobile.
Education is important, however, you really can’t learn how to drive a car by reading a book. You need to get behind the wheel, with dad in the passenger seat telling you when to put the gas on, and when to brake. After a while, you get the feel for it, and pretty soon you are able to take the car out on the road by yourself. Dog training is the same way. I can tell you what to do, but unless you really see it, it’s difficult to transfer theory into application.