Do's and Don'ts of Aggressive Dog Training

Dog aggression is a common and often misunderstood behavioural issue that can pose great challenges for pet owners and erode the positive bond between a pet and their family.

Dog aggression can be stressful for both the dog and their owners. No owner wants their family to have to tiptoe around their dog. And a dog's threatening, and aggressive behaviour could be because they feel stressed, anxious, uncomfortable, or even fearful.

A common myth is that dogs and aggression only occurs in certain breeds of older, male dogs. When in fact, it presents in dogs of any gender, age, and breed. 

Effective aggressive dog training is crucial for addressing these issues and helping your dog feel more secure and confident.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of dog aggression, their causes, and provide a comprehensive guide on the do's and don'ts of canine aggression training. Understanding the root causes of aggression is the first step towards successful aggressive dog training, ensuring a safer and happier environment for both the dog and its family.

Understanding types of Dog Aggression

Aggression is a complicated emotional state for the dog and just like in humans, the aggressive behaviour they exhibit can vary based on what has triggered it. Some forms of dog aggression include:

  • Fear Aggression: One of the most common responses and occurs when a dog feels threatened or scared. Common signs include growling, snapping, or biting when approached.
  • Territorial Aggression: This can be triggered when a stranger or another animal invades a dog’s territory—their environment, their personal space, belongings, or another dog they are close to—dogs may bark, lunge, or bite to scare off intruders.
  • Social Aggression: Dog aggression to other dogs is a form of social aggression that is often related to dominance and hierarchy issues. In most cases, dogs will sort out their differences themselves but monitor and intervene if higher forms of aggression occur. If you’re wondering how to stop dog on dog aggression, the best way is to distract or remove your dog from the interaction with the other dog.
  • Predatory Aggression: One of the most dangerous forms of aggression is when a dog is stalking and commences to chase a smaller creature or person with the intent to attack, grab, bite and possibly kill.


Now that we understand the different types of dog aggression, it can shed a bit of light on the root causes. Possible root causes include:

  • Lack of Socialisation: Dogs not properly socialised with people, other animals, or new environments may develop anxiety and fear-based aggression.
  • Lack of Exercise: Without adequate exercise, dogs can get bored and develop aggressive pent-up energy. Some dog breeds need more exercise than others but exercise through walking and play is a healthy way for dogs to express themselves.
  • Past Trauma or Abuse: Dogs with a history of abuse or neglect are more prone to aggressive behaviour.
  • Medical Issues: This kind of sudden aggression—snapping and growling—when touched can signal a dog may be in pain or injured. Random aggression in senior dogs may be a sign of dementia. If you suspect something is wrong, visit a vet for their expert opinion.
  • Poor Training Methods: Improper training techniques, especially those involving punishment, can increase aggression.

Without the right knowledge, training a vicious dog can be a struggle for pet owners. The good news is that most dog aggression is mostly treatable but how to stop dog aggression does take a lot of work, the right training equipment, and commitment on the owners' behalf.

What can I do to best train my aggressive dog? Here’s some of the do’s and don’ts of dog aggression training.

Aggressive Dog Training Do’s


  • Start Early: Begin training and socialising new dogs—whether puppies or rescues - as soon as possible. Expose them to different people, animals, and environments in a positive manner so they learn healthy ways to respond to these stimuli.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use frequent treats, toys, and praise to reward good behaviour. This helps build trust and encourages the dog to repeat desired behaviours.
  • Consistency: Be consistent with your commands and responses to aggressive behaviour. Dogs thrive on clear rules, immediate responses and knowing you are in charge. Dogs respond better to shorter, more frequent training sessions then long ones.
  • Identify triggers: Common triggers like other dogs, loud noises and strangers, can trigger some dogs to react aggressively. Identify these triggers and create an action plan for what to do if the dog is triggered by these events. Also, focus on desensitisation training or distractions to treat this kind of dog aggression.
  • Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Provide plenty of exercise and play to prevent boredom-based aggression and reduce stress.
  • Use effective training techniques: Desensitisation, counter-conditioning and positive reinforcement for good behaviour are the most effective training techniques for dog aggression. Use of remote training collars may also be effective. Consult with a dog trainer for the correct use of these techniques.
  • Seek Professional Help: If the advice above is not helping, consult with a professional dog trainer for guidance. Enrol your dog in a local obedience school where they can learn in either a group or one-on-one setting.
  • Invest time and effort: Training an aggressive dog now can be time-consuming but it will pay back ten-fold in the long run when you don’t have to worry about having an aggressive dog. Investing in the right training products like remote training collars can make training easier, faster and more effective. 

Aggressive Dog Training Don’ts

    • Punishment: If your dog is aggressive, avoid using harsh punishments or physical corrections. Research shows dogs do not respond to punishment-based training methods. These can increase fear and potentially make their aggression worse.
    • Reinforcing Aggressive Behaviour: Do not inadvertently reward aggressive behaviour by giving into demands or backing off when the dog displays aggression. This can teach them that aggression is an effective way to get what they want.
    • Ignore underlying issues: If the root cause of your dog's aggression is psychological or physical pain, all efforts on training may be futile without the correct intervention from a vet or dog behavioural specialist.
    • Isolation: Avoid isolating or segregating the dog as a form of punishment, as it can increase anxiety and aggression.
    • Use the wrong training equipment: Ensure you have the correct training collar for aggression training. Shock collars are not effective for aggressive dog training.
    • Overexposure to Triggers: Do not force or overexpose the dog to triggers of aggression too quickly or too intensely; gradually desensitise them instead. Forcing may make them uncomfortable or fearful.

Investing time, effort and resources in aggressive dog training by following the do's, such as positive reinforcement and seeking professional help, can lead to a more harmonious relationship with your pet and a safer environment for everyone involved. 

Remember, effective aggressive dog training requires patience, consistency, and often the guidance of a professional.

Aggressive Dog Training with Pet-Tech Bark Collars

Understanding and managing dog aggression requires patience, consistency, and a positive approach to training. By adhering to the do's and don'ts outlined above for aggressive dog training, you can help your dog develop more positive behaviours and create a safer, happier environment for everyone involved.

E-training collars, such as Pet-Tech Bark Collars, can play a valuable role in aggressive dog training by providing immediate feedback and helping to correct unwanted behaviours. These collars, when used correctly and under professional guidance, can aid in the desensitisation process and reinforce positive behaviour. 

It's important to select the appropriate collar and use it as part of a comprehensive training program that includes positive reinforcement and consistency.

Always consult with a professional dog trainer to ensure the e-training collar is used effectively and humanely. This combination of tools and techniques can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your aggressive dog training efforts.

If aggression persists or worsens, seeking professional help through a vet or dog obedience specialist is always a wise decision. With the right guidance and effort, even aggressive dogs can learn to become well-behaved and trusted companions.