Management of An Aggressive, Fearful, or Reactive Dog

Jan 4, 2021

managing aggressive reactive dog

Stress is frequently a component in undesirable behavior for people and animals © Can Stock Photo / mcgill

If you cannot walk your dog safely or if you continue to expose him to his triggers, you are better off staying at home. If you do take him for walks, choose locations and times when you are least likely to encounter his triggers.

When walking a dog with reactivity/aggression issues, you must be constantly aware of your environment. It is not a time to be daydreaming, thinking about tomorrow’s schedule, chatting on your cell phone, conversing with a friend walking with you, or listening to music.

If your dog is aggressive towards people or dogs, you need to keep him away from places where people and dogs congregate. Dogs with aggression issues will not get better if you take them places like pet stores, dog parks, dog events, charitable walks, or any other site where people and dogs gather.

While a dog’s growl can be upsetting and disheartening to us, it also serves the beneficial purpose of alerting us to the fact that the dog is feeling threatened or uncomfortable. It is the dog’s way of saying, “If something in this situation does not change, I may feel threatened enough to bite.” If your dog growls, calmly remove him from the situation with as little fanfare and emotion as possible.

(Issue 45, November 2020, pp.29-31). Read article