All dogs will display some level of aggression or reactivity at some point in their life, so learning how to address this type of behavior is critical for any dog owner or dog trainer.
With a little knowledge and preparation it is easy to prevent almost all aggression, and to quickly address any aggression issues as they begin to emerge, before they develop into problems that can quickly decrease the quality of life for dog and owner alike.
These days, I'm pleased to say that many owners understand the importance of early puppyhood socialization. Unfortunately, far fewer owners understand the important of maintaining that socialization through adolescence and adulthood, when dogs naturally become more shy and stand-offish.
All too often, a dog will get into a single dog fight that will scare their owners into avoiding other dogs, depriving their own dog of the social interaction they need for rehabilitation. Without ongoing positive social experiences, the dog's sociability only deteriorates further, resulting in self-reinforcing, downward spiral of de-socialization.
As soon as you recognize any developing reactivity or aggression you should treat it. The sooner you do, the easier it will be. And the methods used in the treatment of dog aggression are remarkably similar to those used for prevention, except that treatment usually takes dramatically longer.
Recently though, new techniques have been developed to accelerate and maximize classical conditioning, progressive desensitization and ultimately, re-socialization. These methods make it possible to rehabilitate dogs as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
- Prevent dog aggression in the first place with early puppyhood socialization and handling.
- Recognize early warning signs and address aggression problems before they become serious.
- Teach a dog to develop bite inhibition.
- Prevent dog reactivity with the concept of multiple subliminal bite stimuli.
- Treat dogs with aggression problems using Differential Classical Conditioning (DCC) to prevent the unintentional reinforcement of reactivity during classical conditioning.
- Set up training scenarios to accelerate classical conditioning (rather than trying to resolve problems in the course of every day life).
- Empower low-level primary reinforcers as the highest-level, mega-secondary reinforcers to maximize classical conditioning.
- Facilitate puppy play sessions so pups can develop bite inhibition towards other dogs.
- Immediately resolve fearfulness and bullying in puppy play sessions.
- Utilize Come-Sit-Watch commands to break stares and decrease tension and threatening behaviors between dogs.
- Objectively assess the severity of fighting and biting (Fight/Bite Ratio and Bite Scale)
- Assess treatment prognosis and the time required to retrain an aggressive dog.
- Use the Jolly Routine for classical conditioning.
- Organize a Growl Class for reactive (but not dangerous) dogs.
- Video 1: The Great Insanity
- Video 2: 3 Types of Problems
- Video 3: Weighing Risks
- Video 4: Normal Behavior
- Video 5: Using Food
- Video 6: Temperament Testing
- Video 7: Ziwi Peak
- Video 8: Amp Up the Kibble
- Video 9: Sensitive Breeds
- Video 10: Laying Tracks
- Video 11: Treat & Retreat
- Video 12: A Little Bit of Magic
- Video 13: Touching Triggers
- Video 14: Delinquent Waiter
- Video 15: Teaching Tug
- Video 16: Whip's Rules
- Video 17: Multi-Age Socialization Group
- Video 18: Loving Tug
- Video 19: Shaping Tug
- Video 20: Fight-Bite Ratio
- Video 21: Handler Anxiety
- Video 22: 3 Types of Feedback
- Video 23: Growl Class
- Video 24: Reactive Dogs & Crying Babies
- Video 25: Jolly Routine
Dr. Ian Dunbar
World-renowned dog trainer, veterinarian, and animal behaviorist
About the instructor
Dr. Ian Dunbar is one of the world's most respected experts on dog training and behavior. He grew up on a farm, training cows, chickens and yes, dogs. He received his veterinary degree from the Royal Veterinary College at London University and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1982, he designed and taught the world's very first off-leash puppy socialization and training classes – SIRIUS® Puppy Training. Subsequently, he created and developed the San Francisco SPCA's Animal Behavior Department, he started the American Kennel Club's Gazette "Behavior" column, which he wrote for seven years, and he designed and organized the K9 GAMES®.
In 1993, he founded the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. With over 5000 members in 48 countries, the APDT has grown to be the world's largest association of dog trainers.
He has authored numerous books and videos, including five seasons of Dogs with Dunbar, a popular television program in the UK.
He has given over one thousand seminars and workshops around the world and has been instrumental in the rise of reward-based, fun and games, scientifically sound dog training methods.