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Working With A Difficult Dog

What may constitute a difficult dog? Usually a difficult dog means an aggressive dog, but difficult can also mean an excessively shy dog or fearful dog. If you decide to keep this very aggressive dog you need to be aware of some things.

First of all, if the dog comes at you, teeth bared, when stepping into your own home, you should consider letting someone more experienced work with the dog first.

If the dog is not as aggressive toward you as he is toward others, you may have a good chance of changing his behavior. Second, you need to know that working with a difficult dog is going to take time and a lot of patience.

Where To Begin

It is absolutely essential that the dog knows who the boss is. The reason he doesn't listen to anything is because he does not respect the leadership of the human. This is where the pack mentality that has been described so frequently gives us some insight of dog psychology. Why should he listen to a private when he is the general? This is the attitude you will have to change before anything else can happen.

How to Gain Control Of The Dog

To gain control you have to lead. Take the dog for a walk, in an area where it is quiet and not too many people or animals are about. Definitely have the dog on a leash and just walk with him, teaching him to heel that is, to walk by your side without pulling and jerking. Once that is accomplished he will need to learn to focus on you as the two of you are walking.

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He should not let himself be distracted by squirrels, birds or other dogs. These commands are not going to be obeyed with one walk. It demands repetition after repetition before success is at hand. Working with a difficult dog can be quite challenging, but it is not at all impossible.

What Happens Next?

Once the leadership role has been established, training should be easier. Your dog now accepts the roles of who is the general and who is the private. He doesn't mind being the private so long as you're a good general.

His next learning objective will be to become socialized to other people and to other animals. This again will take much patience and perhaps the aide of some friends. When you are greeting someone in the park, it is not the dog's role to protect you unless you want to be protected. He needs to learn the difference between friendly encounters and dangerous ones.

He will need to follow your cues. The way to correct his behavior is to correct him the very second he is trying to be in control. This correction can be in the form of a sound or of snapping the leash, or whatever you have decided to use, but be consistent!

In the Future

If you want your dog to keep being a well behaved canine, you will have to keep repeating the training. This may be a very long process. It is worth the effort to turn a liability into a companion.

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