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Training Dog Aggression Out Of Your Dog

Apr 30, 2023

Duncan Houston

Title: Taming the Beast: Training Your Dog to Stop Being Aggressive Towards Other Dogs


Dog aggression is a common behavioral issue that can lead to dangerous situations for both dogs and their owners. When a dog displays aggression towards other dogs, it's crucial to address this behavior early on. Fortunately, with the right approach, it is possible to help your dog become less aggressive and better socialized. This article will discuss effective training techniques to achieve this, drawing from the expertise of leading dog behaviorists and trainers.

Understanding Aggression

Before addressing your dog's aggression, it's essential to understand the root causes. Aggression in dogs can stem from various factors, including fear, resource guarding, and lack of proper socialization (Overall, 2013). Determining the underlying cause of your dog's aggression is key to implementing the most effective training techniques.

1. Socialization

The first step in addressing dog aggression is ensuring proper socialization. Dr. Ian Dunbar, a renowned dog behaviorist, emphasizes the importance of socializing your dog from a young age to prevent aggressive behaviors (Dunbar, 1999). Expose your dog to different environments, people, and other dogs to help them develop positive associations and confidence. It's crucial to use positive reinforcement during these experiences, rewarding your dog for calm and friendly behavior (Abrantes, 2011).

2. Desensitization and Counter-conditioning

Desensitization and counter-conditioning are two essential techniques in addressing dog aggression. Dr. Karen Overall, a leading veterinary behaviorist, recommends gradually exposing your dog to their triggers at a safe distance and rewarding them for calm behavior (Overall, 2013). Over time, your dog will learn to associate the presence of other dogs with positive experiences, reducing their aggressive response.

3. Professional Training

If your dog's aggression is severe, it may be necessary to seek professional help. Certified dog trainers and behaviorists like Victoria Stilwell can develop a tailored training program to address your dog's specific needs (Stilwell, 2012). These professionals can also help you implement effective management strategies to prevent aggressive incidents while working on your dog's behavior.

4. Medication

In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend medication to help manage your dog's aggression. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), medications such as fluoxetine, clomipramine, and amitriptyline can be effective in reducing aggressive behaviors in conjunction with behavioral modification techniques (AVSAB, 2018). Always consult your veterinarian before administering any medications to your dog.


Training your dog to stop being aggressive towards other dogs requires patience, consistency, and the right approach. By understanding the underlying cause of aggression and implementing proper socialization, desensitization, and counter-conditioning techniques, you can help your dog become a more relaxed and friendly companion. Remember to consult a professional trainer or behaviorist if needed, and always work closely with your veterinarian to ensure your dog's overall wellbeing.


Abrantes, R. (2011). Dog Language: An Encyclopedia of Canine Behavior. Wakan Tanka Publishers.

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). (2018). Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals. Retrieved from

Dunbar, I. (1999). Dog Behavior: An Owner's Guide to a Happy, Healthy Pet. Howell Book House.

Overall, K. L. (2013). Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Stilwell, V. (2012). Train Your Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation