Please note I have revised my thoughts in this article regarding dog aggression based on new scientific training information. Please see an updated post on the topic here.
Pissed off little teddy bear puppy.
In this article I will begin to explain how to stop dog aggression once and for all. To understand aggression in dogs ...and don't be fooled... your cute little teddy bear dog can become aggressive too, let me simplify the matter by bringing up two questions for you.
- To start off: Are you the one that starts the aggression with your dog, only to find your job jumping into the fray just because it looked like fun?
- Second- does your dog listen to you, or have you tried other behavioral methods before your dog turns aggressive?
You may already know the answer to these questions: when your dog starts to be aggressive, it's as if you don't exist at all!
Ever wonder why this is? Simple. Your dog believes what he is doing is right, and that is why he doesn't consider changing behavior, or listening at all. His mind is thinking, "This is really important! I am doing something that has been taught by my ancestors a long time ago - to protect myself, the pack leader and the pack by baring my teeth!"
How can aggression manifest in dogs? There are quite a number of different types, and they range from extreme fear to establishing overwhelming dominance. There are times when aggression mode is perpetually turned on, and times where being aggressive is triggered by specific events and factors. You can see what particular aggression your dog has by carefully observing what makes it go off - objects, other animals, or people. All teddy bear puppy breeds have the natural instincts to be become aggressive so make sure to nip it in the bud as soon as it becomes clear there is a problem.
This otherwise good natured teddy bear dog has an aggressive side.
Would you believe that the solution to stopping dog aggression is the same for each canine? Think of the situation outlined earlier: Your dog shows aggression because it strongly feels that a pack leader's role is to protect you and himself from any and all danger when it presents itself. Dominant-type dogs are more likely to move forward and attack when threatened, while fearful ones take on a defensive stance and only attack when cornered. All other types of aggression fall between these two extremes. Your teddy bear breed will likely fall into the defensive end of the scale.
What if I told you that the only way to stop this undesirable behavior is to take the helm and become the pack leader? Doing this will cement your status in your dog's eyes as the alpha member. A good way to start this is by showing them that you are the sole decision maker at home. Take it a step further by establishing an alpha presence while going out for a walk.
Once this is done, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that instead of your dog going mad whenever a threat appears, he or she will first check your reaction to the threat, and see what you are doing about it. Your dog will pick up your cues and behavior and mirror it. If you are unable to establish being pack leader then you might as well be forever invisible in your dog's eyes!
What does this teach you? Dogs, and that includes teddy bear dogs, are first and foremost pack animals and instinctively follow their pack leader at all times.