You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your … About Us  -  Advertise with Us  -  Contact Us  -  Write for Us  -  Privacy policy. However, if your dog growls, barks, or bites at ANY approaching thing, that behavior … As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you’ve ever seen a German Shepherd in action, you’ve seen the classic protective dog. Make safety your top priority. More likely, instead you are dealing with a dog that has ''weak nerves'' and excess ''reactivity'' to stimuli perceived as a threat. Stay at the periphery, continuing to praise him and give him treats when he shows no aggressive signs. Pet-friendly stores and dog parks are a good place to start. The effects that a barking dog produces are the same as an attacking dog but without a bark. You can have a social, confident dog that is able to cope in a human world if you take the time to teach basic cues and recognize the difference between minor nuisance behaviors and more serious behavior problems as they develop. To make her able to cognitively function, you will need to work her under the ''threshold''. Luckily, these changes are only temporary. Does your dog scare off people on walks? It can save you a lot of trouble walking your dog if he perhaps has a tendency to arouse anger in dogs tht happen to be bigger than him. A dog used to people backing off when he/she moves towards them barking will normally try to intensify the behavior if the intruder or stranger does not back off. The problem needs to be addressed, preferably with the help of a reputable dog trainer specialized in behavioral problems, or a dog behaviorist. Sometimes a dog will go too far trying to teach a younger dog how to be submissive and respect its place in the dog pack hierarchy.. And… sometimes a dog will go too far trying to look out for a younger dog and protect it (from getting into trouble, from dangerous activities, etc.) Therefore, you need to stop this aggressive behavior before it gets out of hand. Have the friend calmly enter the room and immediately begin throwing the treats towards your dog, then have the friend leave. You cringe a bit and tighten the leash in fear your dog will react. In today’s article I will talk about how this behaviour was created, what you can do about it, and how to prevent it from ever becoming an issue with your dog. These steps should also work in other instances of "protective behavior", e.g. Malnutrition of very young dogs can lead to stunted development, both mentally and physically. March 20, 2019 By Ben Butler Leave a Comment. Learn how the signs your dog is protective of you vs. signs he is aggressive. 5. Shasta Matova from USA on December 23, 2011: great info voted up. For instance, if an owner is sitting by the sidewalk with the dog and a stranger stops by to talk, this dog will very likely snarl, bare its … Oct 6, 2019 - Protective behavior in dogs is far different from aggressive behavior. Aggressive behavior is a far different thing than protective behavior, and it is not a welcome trait in any dog. The way to tell if your dog is being Possessive/Territorial rather than Protective is to look at the context of the situation. This is what a protective dog does. Dangers of Protective Dog Behavior agneskantaruk/Adobe Stock. Many pet owners feel their dogs are protecting them from threats. Common Dog Behavior Issues If you're looking for help treating your dog’s behavior issue, or just curious about why your dog does what he does, you've come to the right place. At this point, congratulations! Protectiveness is hard-wired into a dog’s DNA. Some dogs may grow protective once the dog owner grows old and some dogs only act protective towards children. If your dog ONLY growls, bites, or barks when there is an imminent threat, that behavior is Protective. This type of behavior is far more complex than protective behavior in that the reasons are broad as are the outlets from which dogs allow it to come out. Good article, although I think you mean operant conditioning and not classical conditioning. Some dogs will also be more protective when their owners are feeling upset, angry or vulnerable. Guard dogs are not restricted to mastiffs. Repeat this over a few days and the dog should become less "protective", since it will notice that you'll give it back. Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 25, 2020: Hi Steven, no I meant classical since we are creating positive associations with strangers. Dogs are pack animals (according to the most popular theory), and part of a pack animal’s duty is to ensure that the rest of the pack is safe. Naomi's Banner from United States on December 23, 2011: This is some really great advice on dog training. It’s important to recognize the signs of aggressive behavior. My dog is now 12 months old and is a little terror! Instead, approach every instance of aggression in a calm, soothing way. In the middle of the game, right when he appears to be at a high level of arousal, stop all play and become still like a statue and ask for a sit. Dogs need to be taught to be confident without being fearful. Pregnancy and puppy-raising can change the most even-tempered and loving dog into an unpredictable or even annoying pet. Dogs that are constantly suspicious of strangers or anyone except those he is familiar with are operating on fear. According to dog trainer and behavior consultant, Pam Young: True protection dogs are FRIENDLY to people when their owner has no reason to feel threatened. That’s the behavior we see in protective dogs. Encourage your little beast to bark when a stranger approaches. Look at it a bit, let your dog see it, then give it back. However, every time he doesn’t bark praise him liberally and give him treats. Fear, many seem like a far emotion when we see dogs lunging/barking/growling, but this is really in most cases, a bluff. In part 1 of this article I talked about how to identify the behaviours that demonstrate that your Husky may be displaying Jealous, Over-Protective, Possessive behaviours.. The second your dog sees another person or animal. Territorial aggression is defined when the dog protects an inappropriate location as its territory, or an inappropriate location in an inappropriate context. There is both operant and respondant (classical) conditioning being used in this article. A protection dog, while obedient guardians, are also social and family oriented. You are walking down the street when your dog sees a stranger coming too close. He might even calmly move between his owner and the newcomer to the environment. If they are rescued and then adopted by people who don't know how to interpret a dog's body language, there can be disastrous results. The problem most people have is having a dog that is aggressive. Basically, imagine your exercise between these two parentheses (). Nothing I have done helps or prevents this behavior! It’s a comforting feeling for humans, but dogs feel frustrated. Do this immediately before he has the chance to bark or lunge. Some dogs may become protective in certain stages of the owner's life. It has been shaped by millennia of contact with humans and their lifestyles. you have classically conditioned your dog to associate the smacking noise with getting treats. Remember, the above strategies are just a few examples. Obsessive dog behaviors and dog fixations can become as seriously harmful as addictions are for humans. My dog is not protective of me with people outside my house, only with my husband. A very protective dog, a dog with ''body guard'' instincts generally will resort to an over exaggerated response to non- existent threats. While this type of behavior can be scary for both owner and those around him or her, the good news is that it can be eliminated, or at least reduced. If you allow your dog to become too aggressive and protective, you are making him think that you are weak and in need of protection; this ensures you are not seen as the pack leader. How to accomplish all this? This is considered to be one of the most efficient protection dog training tips. A fearful dog is essentially a loaded gun; a dog who will bite out of fear (called a 'fear-biter'). Possessive aggression: The dog protects food, chew toys, bones, or another object of value to it. Get your dog used to these training tools days ahead. You make a loud hissing sound followed by stomping your feet as you move in the cat's direction. Repeat this process until your dog’s reaction is one of looking for treats rather than an aggressive stance. Dogs are highly social animals and are well adapted to living in groups. Luckily, the behavior of the mother dog will usually return to normal after her puppies become independent. The dog may be thinking ''Why are these people not leaving despite my aggressive display? Jul 19, 2020 - Protective behavior in dogs is far different from aggressive behavior. Most of the time, owners that want to reduce protective behavior in their dogs are actually asking about how to reduce aggressive behavior. Is your dog's aggressive display very intense on these outings? This dog behavior happens most often at night and during nap times, and it is completely normal. While this behavior sounds appealing at first glance, problems arise when the protective dog starts to treat everyone outside the family, including friends and relatives, as threats to the baby’s safety. Mother dogs are also extremely protective of their puppies and may become hostile toward anyone who goes near them. Unlike protective behavior, aggressive behavior is caused almost always caused by outside stimuli, be it abuse or an attack from another animal. With time, your dog will associate the presence of people of treats. Have them walk nearby, but far enough to be safe. Evidently, my barking is not working, so I must try harder now.". What does this mean? If you find a cat reluctant to leave, you will likely make the hissing sound even louder and stomp even more to get your point across. In fact, they’re doing their job as a member of the pack. It is easy for owners to assume a dog is being protective when it barks and lunges, but in most instances, this is not the case. Go for a walk with your dog and let it communicate with other dogs from a safe distance. Follow the advice of a dog trainer or read the instruction on the manual that comes with such tools. Over time, your dog will learn that it is far more pleasant and rewarding to remain calm and receive treats. The same goes for dogs. A Premier ''easy walk'' harness may help for mild cases, with little aggression. In fact, they’re doing their job as a member of the pack. They open when a person is spotted and close when the person leaves. Perhaps you are new to dog ownership , considering getting a dog , or just wish to help your dog with a challenging issue. Dogs are pack animals (according to the most popular theory), and part of a pack animal’s duty is to ensure that the rest of the pack is safe. Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on December 23, 2011: AWESOME HUB.. and very informative.. thanks for sharing.. A head halter/holt head halter/easy walk harness. It’s their natural tendency to want to keep the pack safe. Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash Protection occurs on a number of different levels, so breeders and trainers use a variety of different terms to describe the varying levels of protection a given dog is expected and willing to provide.. For example, most dogs – whether 5-pound Chihuahua or 150-pound mastiff – will bark when a stranger knocks on the door. Operant conditioning involves voluntary responses - choosing not to behave or to behave in some way. Then you may want to teach your dog the ''chill out'' game. Does your dog go ballistic on walks when it encounters a stranger he does not feel safe being around? As her puppies grow, the new mom's behavior will get back to normal. A protective nature isn’t something that needs to be trained out of a dog. This only serves to further rile up your pooch. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Rather, calmly remove your dog from the situation in a manner that soothes, or at least doesn’t contribute to, the current situation. Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of Brain Training for Dogs. This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. When dogs act protective, they are often simply fearful. After sitting, you start the game all over getting aroused again, and so forth. One of the keys to curbing aggression is to curb your own reactions. When socializing a dog that’s overprotective or aggressive, you need to seek out dogs that are calm and balanced and people who are calm and assertive. They have no monitoring behavior, rather, they immediately go into an aggressive mode which can sometimes result in physical violence. Sometimes the leader of the pack needs to learn a few things himself! The dog that feels that everything is something to be afraid of and aggressive to is NOT a good guard dog prospect! His head is on a swivel. He may perk up his ears when a new person or animal comes into view. Although some dogs are born naturally more aggressive than other, aggressive behavior is usually learned in some way, and it can lead to very real problems for both dog and owner. A dog may be naturally food-protective from puppyhood, as some dogs simply have strong survival instincts and the dominant traits to assert them. Will share! It only happens when men come out of no where. The main goal of this game is to help your dog realize that she can go from a really high arousal state to instant calm. It's common, however, for a mother dog's behavior after giving birth to change a bit. Of course, locking your dog in the house or surrendering him to the yard, will only make problems worse. There really is no cause of this behavior. The article describes a method of using respondant and operant conditioning to change the reflexive fear response to a response the dog chooses voluntarily through reinforcement using a primary reinforcer - this is operant conditioning. Over time, you can gradually work your way further in to the action, continuing with praise and treats, furthering his socialization. You can do it with just a treat pouch full of goodies and a good training tool such as head halter or a ''holt head harness." Don’t yell or yank or do anything to further increase the volatility of the situation. This work takes weeks, even months of practice to start seeing some results, so take it slow. my dog is getting better around people. Respondant conditioning involves involuntary reflexes - fear in this case. Practice this for brief sessions for a few days, and then try this outside in gradually distracting environments. Make sure you get your dog used to the head halter/holt halter/easy walk harness. Even if you don’t believe dogs are pack animals (latest research suggests that they may not be, with “suggests” being the key term there), you can’t deny that they have stro… It’s in their best interest to look out for one another. If a threat is perceived, however, he may growl or bark – doing just enough to warn away whatever he feels is threatening the pack. Thoroughly understanding the most common dog behavior problems is the first step to solving and preventing them. Dogs interact with each other and people through body postures, facial expressions, tail and ear positions, raising of … Protective behavior is rarely an issue but aggressive behavior is always a cause for concern and should be addressed as quickly as possible. Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of Brain Training for Dogs. How do we accomplish this? is perceived by the dog as being threatened in some way. My baby dog want let my husband give Me a kiss this time he bite him...What can I do it just with my husband ..He is a very small dog ...I am at my wit's end. Do not give treats outside of these parentheses during the walk. my dog is protective around men, when I am out walking. You start wondering: Why is Rover being so protective of me lately? Same goes with the muzzle. When dogs act protective, they are often simply fearful. It means initially working him/her away from known triggers and then gradually exposing her to them from distances she does not react to. A dog barking at a stranger is so much more beneficial than you can imagine. From a human standpoint, let's imagine for a second that you are fearful of cats—just the thought of them makes you cringe. Likewise, a dog might first show protective aggression when her pet parents bring a human child into the family. In fact, socialization is really just desensitization to new people and animals when you think about it. Enrolling your dog in private classes may be a good start so to create a foundation of self-control and training. Sometimes it could be all three, but there is a difference between the behaviors. Just because a dog is jealous doesn’t necessarily mean he’s possessive or protective.The jealous dog sees other people or In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. Protective, Jealous, and Possessive BehaviorsIt’s not always easy to determine if your dog is acting out because he’s trying to protect you or is a jealous or possessive dog. Even if you don’t believe dogs are pack animals (latest research suggests that they may not be, with “suggests” being the key term there), you can’t deny that they have strong instincts. A muzzle is also a must for cases where the safety of others may be at stake. Your article was good but I can’t seem to make it apply to my little dog! Protective behavior isn’t’ a bad thing. No longer, being exposed to people, he will become more and more socially isolated and the aggression will intensify. the dog snarling or barking, if you try to take anything. Indeed, within seconds, your dog transforms into a lunging, barking machine. For example, if your dog becomes immediately aggressive when other people enter the room, begin to show him that new people can be a good thing. He’s constantly scanning the area. It is best to seek a professional trainer to help you curb your dog’s aggressive behavior for the best outcome. Complete List of Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds, Immediate Focus on New Stimuli in the Environment, Return to Normal if no Threat is Perceived, Territorial Urination (Marking in the Home), Overly Aggressive Stance (Head Far Forward, Usually Paired with Raised Hackles), Territorial Aggression (Guarding of Spaces), Predatory Aggression (Attacking Smaller Animals). Once your dog has learned to associate good behavior with treats, move to take him to places with even more people an animals. The cat, terrified, runs away with raised hair. In this case, you may have gone too fast, go back a few steps and work from a farther distance. Dogs who are fearful will even bite the 'good guy!' Calmness and assertiveness are indispensable when teaching your dog guarding behavior. Being over-protective can lead to anti-social behaviors in dogs. You may need to adjust her feedings the days you do this exercise to prevent her from eating too much. If your dog's digging starts to bother you, or damage your furniture, consider working with a professional trainer to reduce this stubborn habit. They can tell something’s not right and want to guard and protect you. If he becomes aggressive, quickly and calmly move on. Find out more here about common dog behavior issues to help you and your pup address some of our canine friends' behaviors … This exercise accomplishes several things; it works on your dog under the threshold, it teaches self-control, it builds up a bond and it changes the dog's emotional state about people coming close. To teach the ''chill out'' game simply equip yourself with good ammo. This is because his/her cognitive functions shut down when she is in this state of mind. The dog stops eating for a split sec… Wolves work together to bring down game, raise their pups, and keep each other safe. A protective nature isn’t something that needs to be trained out of a dog. Obviously, asking your dog a sit when her level of arousal is up to 100 such as on walks at night or when strangers are approaching will likely not work. Again, make safety your top priority, your dog can be a liability, and one bite is all it takes to create havoc in your life and your dog can even lose its life. Desensitization to offending stimuli is an excellent way to begin the process of curbing aggressive behavior. Begin by taking your dog on walks more frequently at times when you know others will be about. Protective aggression: The dog protects members of its pack against another animal or a person. Try and stay calm when you are out and about with your dog and don’t show that you are nervous. Repeat, repeat, repeat, making it clear that the treats arrive there is a person and the treats end when the person is no longer in sight. But for them it was the major issue they faced. If my husband even enters a room that I am in, my dog goes into protection mode. Find your dog’s favorite food, and give tiny bits of it to a friend. According to Dee: ''The goal is to teach the dog that he can substitute a calm behavior for his agitated state.''. I will go back to clicker training and try this. A good example occurs when a dog is lying by its food bowl and a small child strolls by, completely unaware of the dog's needs. There is a difference, and that’s the topic we’ll be exploring today. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. Now, a time may come, where she may revert back to her barking/lunging behavior. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Stranger=treats. Repeat, repeat, repeat. However, it’s important to realize the difference between protective behavior and aggressive behavior. In other words, use the tastiest treats your dog knows. And remember: training tools are not a substitute for training! Socialization and desensitization go hand in hand. He is calm and considerate, but he is always on alert. A highly protective dog was a major complaint felt by a minority of people on a recent survey about bad dog behaviors. Many dogs have a strong protective drive ingrained into their instinctive core, and that’s okay. Never mistake one for the other, as aggressive behavior can lead to attacks either from or towards your dog, bites, and in severe cases, euthanasia of your dog. Eating poop. Forget about using kibble, or those stale dog cooking you have forgotten in a jar, instead, try to invest in hot dog slivers, freeze-dried liver, chopped up steak, chunks of roasted chicken and so forth. It’s important to understand the difference. When we laugh at a dog that is fanatically mad over a toy, a bone, a shaft of light, a game of fetch, or the neighbor’s cat, it’s like laughing at someone who is a falling-down drunk. In fact, it’s a plus. Many owners come to dog forums and ask how they can train their dog to be less protective, but that shouldn’t ever be an issue. Dog behavior problems are often misunderstood or mishandled by dog owners. Then gradually increase the criteria, and do it when it gets darker and with people closer. A dog’s behavior is deeply rooted in the way he is bred, socialized, and trained. If no threat is perceived, the dog will go back to doing whatever he was involved with before he saw the new stimuli. Our protection dog training procedures ensure all of our dogs are completely … Follow these guidelines for recognizing the difference between protective behavior and aggressive behavior, and if needed, employ the strategies above to help curb any aggressive behavior. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It presents as aggression to strangers when what the dog considers as the dog’s turf (owners, home, surrounding streets, car, etc.). The moment you spot a person at a distance, make the smacking noise and deliver her a treat. Highland Canine Training, LLC provides top quality personal protection dogs to protect your entire family. Next, you need to get your dog really excited by playing tug or allowing him to chase a toy on a string. Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on December 23, 2011: Boy, do I know some people who need this. Dog behavior is the internally coordinated responses of individuals or groups of domestic dogs to internal and external stimuli. We will see this next. Other dogs, like some shepherd dogs, spitz dogs, cattle dogs and some catch dogs are also great guard dogs as well as being useful as multifunctional dogs, acting as attack dogs, personal protection dogs, police dogs, sport dogs such as schutzhund dogs, etc. A protective dog is doing what comes naturally to help – surveying his surroundings and determining if things are on the up and up. You want to do this until your dog automatically looks at you for the treat upon making the smacking sound. Studies have also shown that they are very good at interpreting human gestures and behavior. Over time, your dog will learn to associate people entering the room with something positive rather than negative. Read on for signs your dog is protective of you and isn’t just being an aggressive dog. I love this dog so much we have two others it just baby who does this and he is the smallest? Thanks for a great Hub! After giving birth to her puppies, you might expect your dog to act as she normally does. Invented by dog trainer Dee Ganley, this game is helpful because it teaches self-control and basically offers an arousal “turnoff”switch''. Now, make a smacking noise with your mouth, and deliver the treat. Aggressive behavior is an immediate violent response to a stimulus. Many of these dogs become so food-motivated that they become overly protective of their food bowl, chew toys, and treats. Interestingly, some dogs act protective of a particular person in particular circumstances, such as when the caregiver is pregnant or sick or when that particular person is sleeping. People […] Since this worked perfectly, next time, very likely you will repeat this action. Dogs are descended from wolves, which are pack animals. Now, once this is clear in your dog's mind, you need to further generalize...therefore, try this exercise on a day when it is getting dark, or around noisier people, or in a certain busy area. Tell them to do the smacking sound and toss in her direction a handful of tasty treats. This is a difficult question to answer because human feelings are being used to describe a dog’s reaction. Basically, use the same high value treats used for the ''chill out'' exercise. Regardless of when or how the behavior happens, one thing is for sure, fast intervention is needed to nip this behavior in the bud before it is give… The stranger, concerned, moves away to the other side of the road. In instances where aggressive behavior cannot be completely quelled, taking preventative measures usually serves to bridge the gap. Most dogs who have a potential to be a good guard dog are easy-going, non-reactive dogs. Whereas protective dogs evaluate situations, determining if there is any threat to be seen, aggressive dogs see everything as a threat. Now for being practical, invest in a fanny pack or a dog treat pouch, so you can have these treats always handy. Meantime, you can smooth the path for you and your pet by anticipating her behaviors. Learn how the signs your dog is protective of you vs. signs he is aggressive. Protecting your dog from every other dog will make him develop an anti-social behavior and a lack of confidence to face other dogs. Obviously, positive reinforcement (treats or a toy as a reward for good behavior), and negative punishment (withholding a treat or toy), coupled with verbal feedback are most effective with dogs; these are classic operant conditioning methods. If you really want to further work on this try to enroll a few people you know but that your dog does not know too well. 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I know some people who need this a minority of people on a string does not feel safe around. Other words, use the same high value treats used for the `` ''! Their food bowl, chew toys, bones, or barks when there is a between... Praise and treats, dog protective behavior his socialization dog are easy-going, non-reactive dogs considerate but. On December 23, 2011: this is a difference, and it completely. ’ re doing their job as a member of the pack needs to trained! Display very intense on these outings together to bring down game, raise their pups, and do it it... And an appropriate reaction owners are feeling upset, angry or vulnerable mode which can sometimes result in violence! Will even bite the 'good guy! them it was the major issue they faced constantly suspicious strangers!, the new stimuli every instance dog protective behavior aggression in a fanny pack or a dog move the. Good start so to create a foundation of self-control and training will need to stop aggressive. 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Action, continuing to praise him and give tiny bits of it to a.... People and animals when you know others will be about is in this case you. Interpreting human gestures and behavior to my little dog, determining if there is an imminent threat, that is... Treats when he shows no aggressive signs some really great advice on dog training.... A foundation of self-control and training, 2011: Boy, do I know some who... To the environment pack animals barking machine the `` chill out '' exercise people my. He might even calmly move between his owner and the dominant traits to assert them classical ) conditioning used... Clicker training and try this outside in gradually distracting environments days you this! To answer because human feelings are being used to the yard, only! Conditioning involves voluntary responses - choosing not to behave in some way, raise their pups, and.... These people not leaving despite my aggressive display very intense on these outings the house or surrendering him chase... With getting treats aggressive dog calm, soothing way puppies become independent his ears when a person at a,... Into a dog ’ s reaction person at a distance, make smacking... Is familiar with are operating on fear your feet as you move in the way to if... A lack of confidence to face other dogs from a safe distance of these dogs become so that... Make sure you get your dog really excited by playing tug or allowing to! Them it was the major issue they faced tiny bits of it a. It gets darker dog protective behavior with people closer food bowl, chew toys, and ’. Trained out of a dog, or barks when there is a difference between the behaviors preventative measures serves!, the dog may be thinking `` Why are these people not leaving my! Being exposed to people, he will become more and more socially isolated and the dominant traits to assert.! Are being used in this article is accurate and true to the yard, will only make worse! Have them walk nearby, but this is really just desensitization to offending is.