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Walter, Breeder
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience:  Breeder and pet health consultant. Have spent a number of years with dog rescue, training and health
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my dog growls and snaps at people what can i do

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I adopted this dog he is six months old and very loving if he knows you. I have only had him for three weeks how can i break him of this

Rest assured that this is not a issue of him staying like this. While it is true that some dogs are just plain mean (Just like their human owners )........the majority of dogs can be trained out of this behavior.

The key is caching the dog while he is young and showing him that this behavior is not acceptable.

More often then not, dogs this young have the instinct to play rough or try to show the owner who is boss. Young dogs are just like children in a sense........they want to see how far they can push and to try and take control. Keeping control is key.

My first recommendation is to enroll him in a behavior or obedience course. These classes are often underestimated but can be the saving grace in rectifying this behavior. Once your dog has learned who is in command and how to follow basic commands curbing this behavior is a breeze. The fact is if your dog does not understand what "no" or "stop" means then all he understands is you are saying something to him in a firm voice.......what that is he has no real clue.

In addition to the classes you will want to pick up a spray bottle fill it with cool water. Anytime the dog displays a aggressive action be quick to spay him square in the face. This will not only stop him but scare him. When ever you play with him make sure you make a big show of putting the bottle next to you........if he starts getting a little to rough pick the bottle up and firmly tell him no! If he goes forth a spray is in order. Stop all play and place him in a time out spot. Such as a undisturbed room or outside for ten minutes.

Each time he plays with no aggression reward him with a snack. If you are not playing with him keep a bottle (Pop bottle or water bottle) with some loose change in it around you. If you see him become aggressive with the other dog......shake the bottle quickly to get his attention then give the firm "no" command or "leave it" If he continues the spray bottle and time out will be needed.

Keep in mind, Rome was not built in a day and your dogs behavior will not change overnight either. You must be consistent and firm each time. If you allow him to get away with it every now and again he will not learn. Most trainers agree that consistent routine with a program as outlined above will start showing improvement often within a few weeks time. Depending on how stubborn your dog is it could take longer.....but be prepared to go the distance with the dog if you wish to keep him in the future.

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