Mike's Q&A

An interactive question and answer forum with expert dog trainer Michael Wombacher for all of your most pressing dog behavior and dog training-related questions.

Rescue Dog Aggression

Q: We rescued a 1 year old corgi/staffi mix (we think based on looks) from Lancaster Dog shelter about 3 months ago. She was extremely fearful and was doing good, until about 4 weeks ago, when she started to show dog aggression on the beach and on walks not in her neighborhood. She lunges at them and tries to nip them, or run at them. Is there something you can tell me to do to try and break this, or a class that you recommend in Berkeley for me to take her? Thanks.


A: The best thing I could advise in a situation like this is get some private professional help. I am not sure about classes in the Berkeley area that would address this but in general I am skeptical of group classes being able to reliably resolve such behaviors. Generally speaking the way to resolve this usually involves a combination of approaches including solid obedience training, especially walking without leash pulling, solid recalls, and a bullet proof “off” command. With these things in hand you are in a position to begin approaching your dog’s interactions with other dogs and helping him to learn new ways of responding to them. Again, I think private training help will give you the most bang for your buck here.