Show Aggression Toward Family Member
“Lack of Respect”
Why would a dog show aggression towards a family member? After all he interacts every day with this person. This person is one of his pack. This person is one of the alpha of the pack over the dog. But wait is he? Again let us revert to when your dog lived in the wild. The only way a dog would show aggression to another member of his pack is if he felt he was the dominant one.
When your dog growls at you when you approach his food dish this is known as resource guarding. Your dog may practice this behaviour over something as inconceivable as a piece of paper. The issue is really one of dominance. The dog looks upon you as a lower member in the pack. He would never do this if he saw you as the alpha leader because to show dominance and to show aggression are the rights of the higher ranked animal.
Now that you know what the problem is what can you do about it?
The best way to address this type of aggression is through obedience work. They do not need to be long sessions. Just two or maybe three 15 minutes sessions a day will change you status in the eyes of your dog. The obedience will make it clear to your dog who the real boss is. Reward him for obeying your commands and isolate him when he misbehaves. You isolate him by putting him outside or in another room in the house. You may want to enlist the aid of a qualified trainer. You would want a trainer that is knowledgeable on how to treat aggressive behaviour.
Keep your training sessions short – no more than 15 minutes but make them often. Try to keep a routine. You want to be training everyday not 5 or 6 sessions one day then skip a day or two.
Some dogs will show aggression when handled. This is probably due to not being handled that much as a puppy and possibly bad experiences while being groomed. If a dog was having his nails clipped and the quick was accidentally cut into this would be a bad experience. You could start with gently touching his paws and picking them up and touching them with the clippers. Praise him and reward him with a treat. If he shows any signs of stress stop immediately. It will be a long process. The emphasis for the older dog who doesn’t like being touched is any action you take try and keep him calm. So again if he shows any signs of stress stop and let him calm down. Also if you get nervous it would be wise to stop as your dog can sense your nervousness.
Remember if you are not comfortable doing these things to your dog you can always have it done professionally. Just make sure you tell the groomer that your dog will show aggression when handled and then they can properly deal with it.
For more information on aggression and other behavioural issues go to Secrets to Dog Training. Secrets to Dog Training is a complete guide that will help bring up your puppy and train him/her to be a good companion dog.