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.

When Dog Aggression needs Professional Consultation

Q: We have two jack russell/beagle mixes that are 5 years old. They are very friendly off leash, but they exhibit really aggressive behavior towards some dogs (especially bigger dogs). One of the dogs will stand on top of the other and they bark and growl aggressively towards the other dogs. They have never bitten any other dog and they are generally great with our toddler. My husband has tried putting them on their backs after they exhibit this behavior, but it doesn't seem to change anything. I have tried keeping them on a short leash and saying no firmly. These measures haven't worked either. Any advice on curtailing this behavior would be greatly appreciated. 

 

A: This is a very complex behavior and probably requires some private consultation. Turning them on their backs and tightening the leashes will probably not help and, especially the leash tightening, make things worse. There are many elements that contribute to this which have to be pulled apart and dealt with before you can craft a meaningful response to this. There are too many variables to be able to in a short forum like this. It might be good to give me a call to discuss.