Dog Training World Forums Aggression Problems Fear Aggression Fear/Protective Aggression Incident Reply To: Fear/Protective Aggression Incident

  • Shoko

    February 2, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Hi Cyndi!

    I saw this post and thought I will throw in my five cents. I’m not sure how much of what I am about to write is right, so feel free to take what you like, and leave what you don’t like. 🙂

    <font face=”inherit”>So…There are definitely ways to make a dog associate shouting angry people with treats. And I think this technique would work really well for dealing with people you meet out on the streets, but I think when dealing with specific individuals such as your family member, or close </font>acquaintance that you meet regularly<font face=”inherit”>, who shows hostile stance towards either your dog or yourself, evacuating your dog might be the best choice. </font>

    When thinking about these tricky situations, I ask myself what I would do if my dog was a 3 years old child.

    If my imaginary child is scared of some thing that he/she sees out on walk, I could distract the child by handing the child its favorite chocolate when walking past a scary thing. But I don’t think this tactic wouldn’t be ideal when it is his aunt who is verbally attacking him at a family gathering.

    <font face=”inherit”>If any of my relatives started acting like that to my child, how would I want my child to react?I </font>definitely<font face=”inherit”> wouldn’t want him/her to start shouting back at his aunt, but I wouldn’t want to be forcing the child to keep on smiling at that relative amid verbal abuse. I would probably go over there, take the child by hand and leave before the child feels helpless and angry. You’ll probably say something like “Lets go play outside. We’ll come back to auntie when she is feeling a calmer” or something in that line.. (I’m making this up btw). Or you might say something like “Auntie, you are scaring my child, could you please come back when you are calmer?” </font>

    I think similar thing can apply when that child is a dog. Usually in a similar situation I let my dog know that I have the control of the situation by either turning around and leaving with the dog while feeding treats and ignoring the person, or by putting the dog behind me and nicely but firmly tell the human to leave. I guess you could say that I do the growling instead of my dog. lol

    <font face=”inherit”>Also, I’ve noticed that for many people, when they don’t like someone, it’s very hard to actually like their pets. When there is even a slightest strain in a human-human relationship, the way he/she treats the other person’s pet tends to become rough (and unfortunately often it can happen on an </font>unconscious<font face=”inherit”> level…). So even if you do manage to make Lacy like the other person, you never know how she will be treated…</font>

    So, unless your relative really wants to become friend with your dog, and you really trust that person, I don’t think you need to worry about making your dog act friendly towards that person. I think it’s more important to make your dog think that it’s well protected by the owner so it won’t feel the need to defend itself by growling. I think, ideally you would want Lacy to ignore such people because she believes you will be the one chasing away the threatening person, not her. She can just relax and rely on you. 🙂

    Hope something was helpful!