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  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.

« Surrendering Your Dog: Is It The Only Option? | Main | Help…My Dog Won’t “Come!” »

August 28, 2009


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Gary Maglipay

There are lots of reasons of dog's aggression

Cyndy R.

This is true in some cases but I have a dog that has been attacked while we were doing our daily walk 3 x's and now reacts to other dogs. I have worked with him but he is just down right scared now. So to say that all aggressive dogs are aggressive because of being removed from the liter to early is a false statement.

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Dogs can get aggressive if they're smacked or abused for a long time.

I think it would be best to teach the dogs using positive reinforcements. However, at times they will need to be trained of their boundaries. An electric dog fence can do wonders in this situation. Like this one here:


hmmm interesting read never new that about doggys, very insightful indeed, learnd quite a bit

electric dog fence

The dog who is aggressive toward other dogs has not be socialized properly.This often happens when people get a puppy who is 4-5 weeks old, before the puppy has had a chance to imprint on other dogs.


I see rationalizations like this all the time: Dog owners who don't correct their uncontrolled dog's aggressions getting some scientific-sounding apologist to excuse their irresponsible lack of bad-behavior correction. A dog is not a goose, any more than people are, and to blame bad behavior on imprinting is to deny their dogness. The truth is an old dog CAN be taught new tricks, and a badly behaving dog CAN (and should) be taught good behavior. Rather than make far-fetched excuses for uncivil owners one should try to help convince these people that their deliberate inaction is inconsiderate, their dog's behavior is unwanted and unhealthy, and indeed their neurotic dog is not happy being in such a state. To rehabilitate a dog with poor social skills it is both necessary and sufficient to change the owner's way of thinking. Once you get the owner's mindset to change, the dog's will follow. Getting the vast majority of such dogs to change their behavior is generally straightforward, and in my experience never impossible -- getting the owners to change THEIR behavior is the trick of the trade, and any useful suggestions along those lines would be much more welcome than an attempt to get readers to think of a dog as a duck.

  Randall Johnson

This post harkens back to Fuller and Scott’s seminal study in 1965 in which they described the crucial developmental stages during the first 12 weeks of a puppy’s life. Since then, other researchers have expanded upon it and everyone agrees that these critical periods are just that…CRITICAL!
When my all-black minpin, Suzie, had her puppies, I held onto them for at least 8 weeks before releasing them to their new families.
And I’m glad I did. Not only were they properly socialized and habituated—having been exposed to other dogs, other people, and all kinds of sensory stimulation—they were also a lot of fun to have around. Suzie actively played with them and I recall how they used to go thundering down the hall as an indistinguishable mass of legs and tails and slide-crash into one of the legs of the dining room table.


I had not thought of the importance of imprinting before now. You have done your research. Very solid information. Thankyou for writing it.


I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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