Aggressive 3 year old Labrador

by Casey
(MI)

I have a 3year old male chocolate lab. He has recently become increasingly more aggressive toward people, other dogs and even children.
He will bark, growl, and lunge at strangers who get too close. Recently he has started barking excessively at my husband when he gets home from work even after he can see and smell him. We have had him since he was 3 months old and he has never been aggressive towards our children, or other lab, just strangers. We have not had any major changes or obvious reasons for this behavior. My husband does not have as many problems when he walks him, but I as a female do;in general I have had a difficult time getting him to listen to me. We have used an Ecoller but unless I put it on its highest setting, which I don't feel comfortable doing to him, it doesn't stop the behavior. We have also used a full body harness, muzzle, and the collar that pulls the head down when they lunge. I have used positive reinforcement for kind behavior. Sometimes he does really well and sometimes he doesn't- there has been no obvious pattern for this. My biggest concern is that he barks at children,being that I have two small girls. I am not able to trust him which I know will only feed into worse behavior. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as this is currently causing quite a stress in our family. My main goal is to see him get better we do love him dearly.

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Jul 02, 2015
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Teach Your Dog To Walk On A Loose Leash
by: Adam G. Katz

Yes-- you can fix this. It's what we call "dog aggression" (in contrast to handler aggression).

You need to focus on two things:

1. Teach your dog to walk on a loose leash around all distractions. If he's on a loose leash, he cannot be paying attention to you and the other dog at the same time. It's either one or another, and if the leash is loose, then he has to watch you because he cannot FEEL from the tension in the leash, where you are.

2. You'll need to learn how to give a motivational correction, so that he clearly understands that this behavior is unacceptable. If he already knows that it's unacceptable, then the issue is that your correction is not firm enough, or you're not using the proper training collar (or it isn't fitted correctly!)

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