Koda is a 4 year old Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. Koda’s family has already seen Koda bite several people before calling Zen Dog Training for help. The bites were not severe however his biting was definitely a problem that needed fixing! Even worse, a majority of the bites were happening to friends and visitors inside their own home.
We immediately got to work on setting up the right home environment for Koda’s success. Management tools are absolutely essential when creating a training plan for a dog with aggression issues.
Important Training Tools for the “Set-up for Success:”
- 6’ Drag Line (indoor leash that drag’s behind your dog)
- Tethers (tying your dog to the couch, radiator, etc…)
Tool 1: The Drag Line
We realized quickly how useful the drag line was. Having him on the leash inside the house, allowed Koda’s owners to immediately remove him when he got nervous and gave them more time to interrupt aggressive behaviors.
Tool 2: The Tether
We also suggested that Koda be tethered to the couch or kitchen table during higher stress times like when someone rang the doorbell, or was entering the house. Tethering allows Koda to explore and experience new situations with people, without putting anyone in danger.
Note: Tethering should only be used when someone is home!
Tool 3: Treats!
Treats are an important tool in these situations, since Koda was fearful, and nervous when new people enter the house. Giving Koda treats when visitors arrived (a counter-conditioning technique) encourages relaxed body language. Treats plus gentle persistence, helps Koda understand that new people in the home are welcome, and are not a threat.
Let the Training Begin!
Training Koda not to bark or bite visitors can only be achieved with the right tools and environment. Training needs to happen in situations where everyone is safe and relaxed. Now that the right environment was in place we could start working on actually changing his reactive tendencies.
To learn more about Management Tools, and other solutions for
having a reactive dog, check out Zen Dog Training Online.