Helping Your Dog Overcome Protectiveness

I have a confession. I, Bradley Nierenberg, am an equal-opportunity dog lover. When I’m on walks with Bitsy, just the sight of another dog coming our way has me grinning from ear to ear. Bitsy, on the other is pretty unamused by my fondness for all canines. And while she isn’t overprotective, I’ve heard stories about dogs who are so protective that other dogs can’t even get near.

In these cases, there are some common mistakes that pet owners make that are easily avoided. Here are a few tips on helping your pet overcome aggression or protectiveness issues:

Don’t Get Nervous
When you start freaking out about your dog’s potential protectiveness, they will pick up on that energy. Stay calm and assertive when you’re working to help your pup get socialized.

Work Your Way Up
Don’t start trying to get your dog to let their guard down by inviting over the most aggressive dog in the neighborhood. Instead, go to neutral turf, like a local field or park, at an off hour. The perfect companion in these first stages will be a calmer, balanced dog.

Spend That Energy!
Taking your dog for a run or long walk before socialization exercises will relieve some anxiety and make it easier to be comfortable around other pets and humans.

Consider Working with a Professional
Aggression can be caused by so many things, and it can be frustrating for non-professionals to navigate socializing a protective dog. Consider working with a professional that can help identify the unique triggers for your pet.

Have you had to train your dog to let it’s guard down around other pets and humans? Share your experience and tips in the comments below.