Fear aggression in dogs occurs when your dog is aggressive out of sheer fear or panic. If you have a fear aggressive dog, she is not necessarily of a violent nature , but rather is just frightened of a particular situation. Her aggression is her way of telling you that she is unable to deal with the scenario.
Patience and perseverance are crucial components when preventing fear aggression.
It can at times be rather difficult to stop fear aggression in dogs, as your dog is responding to a powerful blend of instinct and fear. You should pay close attention to the cause of the fear, and work to desensitize her to it.
Boost her confidence
A great method to stop fear aggression is by positively rewarding your dog when she obeys your commands . With a very small dog, be mindful not to give her too many treats, as this might disturb her system. As your dog becomes more accustomed to your commands, proceed to the next level. As your dog performs each of the commands to your satisfaction, be sure to positively reward her. On the other hand, be certain not to baby her or reinforce her fearful behaviour with abnormal attention and sympathy, as you do not want to be rewarding her for the very behaviour that you are trying to train her to stop.
Desensitize her to the trigger of her fear
Desensitizing your dog concerns methodically and gradually getting her used to what is triggering her fear response, and can be a really efficient technique to stop fear aggression in dogs. Your dog needs to learn through direct experience that the cause of her fear is not something that she should fear, so undertake to keep your dog as cheerful and relaxed as you are able to.
For illustration, if is scared of the vacuum cleaner, as most dogs do, start slowly integrating it into her day-to-day life. Begin by simply leaving it out in an obvious position, where she will have some incidental contact with it. Grant her plenty of opportunity to sniff it and walk around it, and play with her and feed her close to it. Methodically progress to turning the vacuum on, with your dog a fair distance away . Leave it on for a while, to get your dog used to the sound. Gradually see that she goes a little closer to the vacuum when it is on.
Be certain not to crowd your dog at all. In the event that your dog is scared in any way, it is crucial that she has her own space.
Pay close attention to your dog’s body language . If she ever shows signs of panic, worry, or skittishness, turn the vacuum off for a while, and then start again.
When you are of the view that your dog no longer fears the original trigger, you can commence the course of action of counter-conditioning as another means of preventing fear aggression. This means associating beneficial things with the object of her fear. The best way to stop fear aggression in dogs in this respect is through positive reinforcement once her fear levels drop . Positive reinforcement, one of the components of operant conditioning, needs to be applied regularly and consistently to see desired results.
Ensure your dog is socialized
Despite the fact that the first stages of a dog’s life are the most important with respect to socialization, you must still consider it throughout your dog’s life, should fear aggression come about. The more she is exposed to other people, other dogs, and a plethora of circumstances, the more she will see that the aforementioned are not to be feared. The less you will have to stress about learning how to stop dog aggression as well.
Get the help of a professional
If nothing you do seems to work, you should consider looking for the assistance of a professional dog trainer. It may be the case that they can find something subtle that you could not, which could make a significant difference.