Owner compliance to the right treatment program and the extent of the effort is the single most important factor contributing to the success of rehabilitating an aggressive dog, although the extent to which the dog is aggressive and can be rehabilitated varies depending on the dog.

However it is common for owners to become discouraged. Some consider euthanasia, other rehoming.  Finding a good professional who can help is one of the best ways to keep your dog training and treatment going. Also, finding a support group, or community can also keep you going when you feel discouraged, or can be a great place to share your successes!  See staying committed to treatment.

If owner compliance is such a huge factor, it become necessary to identify where dog owners falter. 

In many cases, dog owners haven’t found a treatment program they can truly get behind. E-collars, choke chains, prong collars do not feel good to use (nor are they recommended by the veterinary and behaviorist community – see why here: the world’s worse training advice). Finding the right program that your dog will respond positively to if not only better for your dog, but better for you, too.

Sometimes the family can’t agree on training methods. This happens more often than you might think. If this is the case for you, check out secrets to getting your significant other on board with your training program.

Sometimes the dog has not been prepared for the program, meaning that the foundation work has not been done. Or you might be pushing your dog too far too fast, in other words you are expecting your dog to run before he or she learns how to walk. This occurs when dog owners try targeted behavior modification before the dog is ready.

It also occurs when a dog is exposed to the situation that sets them off and the owner has either not realized the dog needs to be capable of relaxing, or hasn’t recognized the signs that indicate that the dog is not actually calm. This situations are all extremely common.

And finally some people may start strong with training and other interventions, but once the initial enthusiasm wears off, they don’t have a plan in place to work the ongoing training into their lives. It’s important to figure out how to work a training program into your life so you don’t get overwhelmed, and it’s easy to maintain.

When we have set back in the progress our dog makes, it can be very discouraging.

Learn more about what influences success in treating dog aggression.


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