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Features March 2019 Issue

What to Do When Your Dog’s Aggression is Directed At You

Having fun with a toy together is all to the good, but if he wonít let you near the toy, youíve got a problem.

What to Do When Your Dog’s Aggression is Directed At You

Aggression from your own dog can be particularly scary, but you can train him out of it.

It used to be called dominance behavior. A dog growls if his owner goes to pick up one of his toys, or steps into space the pet considers his and his alone. But today, animal behaviorists call that kind of deportment conflict aggression, with the understanding the dog is not trying to exert dominance over his human caretaker but, rather, feels inner conflict about whoís the leader in the household. Heís actually anxious and worried that heís unprotected and feels he must step up to take care of himself. Itís akin to a four-year-old who acts out because he hasnít had the proper structure, guidance, and limits to feel secure.

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