My dog lunges and growls at other dogs

I was not consistent while training my 7 year old lab mix. As a result, there are some behavioural issues with her. When I walk her, she lunges and growls at other dogs.

Published: 13th February 2018 10:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2018 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

I was not consistent while training my 7 year old lab mix. As a result, there are some behavioural issues with her. When I walk her, she lunges and growls at other dogs. What can I
do now?
—Arun

Hi Arun,

There is never a time when training stops for dogs as they are always learning new things by making newer mistakes. Hence, it is never too late to restart his training but this time be consistent. A good basic obedience training regime especially leash training will help you a lot in this case.

It can be very confusing for a dog to interpret and understand what are the do’s and don’t’s of her human as it is not based on her natural instinct. It is rather, an associative learning, which she gains over a period based on what is taught to her. Typically, this means you correct her when she is wrong and reward her when she is right. When you are inconsistent, you probably correct her bad habits at times and at other times ignore it as if it was ok. This will confuse her as she no longer understands if the particular behavior is acceptable or not. This is why consistency is key in training any dog.

There could be multiple reasons as to why she is trying to act aggressive on the walk. It could be a territorial behavior or a protective behavior or simply general unfriendliness. For all of the above cases, if you are in control of the situation you can handle her misbehavior. To ensure this you need to ensure that she also knows that you are in control and consistent basic obedience training will ensure that she understands your leadership. If she is trying to protect you, it only means that she does not trust your ability to handle the situation.

It is also necessary to revisit her socialization with other dogs. If she is acting territorial, evaluate if the other dogs are acting aggressive and your girl is reacting to that. The general obedience training will remove the pressure on your dog to defend her territory and will help her to act calm on these walks. Consult a professional behaviorist to help if things don’t improve. Remember consistency is key to a balanced dog.

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