At our canine training center located in Miami, Florida at 4423 SW 74th Avenue, Miami FL 33155, we have a unique opportunity re-socialize dogs who are, or who have become aggressive. The most common type of aggressive dogs we deal with are fear aggressive dogs and dogs who become dominant as a result what I like to call “hormones gone wrong.” Keep in mind that the word dominant is used to describe a relationship between dogs, and dogs only. In nature, the dominant dog is determined by the submissive animal. Yet, sometimes our domestic dogs get confused (likely because of something we did or didn’t do), and dogs become dominant towards other animals who are not offering submission. This can be a very dangerous situation, but if identified and caught early it’s something that can be corrected.- Fear aggressive dogs aggress because they are scared and are trying to create space between themselves and other dogs. By putting on a big barking, lunging, growling display there’s a good chance that other dogs will go away. It’s likely that this behavior has been rehearsed enough that your dog has learned it’s an effective way to get other dogs to go away. Our job in helping fearfully aggressive dogs is to:

a) create positive interactions with other dogs to show your dog that dogs are not scary

b) teach your dog alternative behaviors so that they can offer those nicer behaviors instead of becoming defensive aggressive

c) slowly, at the dogs pace, rebuild the dogs confidence around other dogs so that they can tolerate, or even enjoy the companionship of other dogs

How long does it take to rehabilitate an aggressive dog?

This is different for every dog. We’ve had some dogs who we can quickly bring back to balance, and others take months, even up to a year, to train out the aggression. There is no single time frame. It simply takes as long as it takes. I think this is why most people give up on their aggressive dog. But you can’t lose patience. We’re dealing with a live animal who may be under stress, be feeling anxious, scared… we owe it to the dog to go at HIS pace, and let him dictate what he is, or isn’t ready for. Our job in working with aggressive dogs is to help them feel confident that we will protect them and look our for their best interests so they don’t’ have to act aggressively to resolve their issues.

The Case of Charlie

I hope you enjoy the below video of Charlie, who for the first time today was allowed to be in an off-leash play group with other dogs. Charlie grew up being social, but got confused somewhere between his teens and sexual maturity. He began attacking other male dogs, and then female dogs on first greeting. For months he was isolated and not allowed to interact with other dogs out of fear that he would lunge, pin, and bite them. Over a four month period using CC/DS (counter conditioning and desensitization), combined with Grisha Stewards BAT protocol, we have been able to help charlie gain his confidence back. We were beyond thrilled today to see all of our hard work pay off. Look at Charlie wagging his tail! It will be several more sessions before we feel comfortable taking his muzzle off, but we are confident we will get there.

Unlike Charlie, some dogs will never get to the point where we would feel comfortable removing the muzzle. Dogs who are not candidates for free-play rehabilitation are:

a) dogs that have killed another dog

b) dogs that immediately stare (“lock in”), then run and charge to attack other dogs

c) dogs who have been previously trained to fight

Yet, all dogs can be trained to be neutral and non-reactive so that their owners can enjoy walking in areas with other leashed dogs.

There is help for all dog-aggressive dogs.

We train dogs and puppies of all ages, all breeds, and all behavior problems along with different classes and services that fit any budget to work on your generalization. Contact our certified, professional, award-winning team of dog trainers and behavior professionals located in Miami and Broward.

We are AKC evaluators and active dog sport enthusiasts with our own dogs! Call us today at 786-529-7833, find us on Facebook, or message us on Instagram @ApplauseYourPaws @AYPBroward.

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