Training an Aggressive Dog

I have a 9 month old male Lab/Pit mix. I've had him since he was 4 weeks old. He has, in the last few months, been getting progressively more and more hard to handle. I had him fixed when he was 3 months old, which I now think was a big mistake doing it that young.

When he was about 6 months, he started barking at people and not just people coming up to where he was, but just anything, any random noise or anyone he didn't know, which for our life style isn't very acceptable. I want him to be protective, just not over protective.

That I could have lived with, until he recently started being aggressive towards my friends or just random people walking on the street when they would come near us or our stuff. He even tried snapping at two of my friends he didn't like!

Also, he used to be really good with other dogs, but now he's starting to pick on certain dogs too, like if they come where his bed is, or near his food, or even me or my boyfriend sometimes. He tried to kill another dog when she came near our bed. I was telling the other dog to go away and get away from us, when he just grabbed her by the neck and swung her around like a rag doll.


I've literally tried everything I can think of. When he tried killing the other dog I hit him, and when he's really really aggressive, I hit him (not hard or anything) and I realize this isn't the best method, but also when you're in the situation it's hard not to be upset/heated. I've tried firm "nos", flicking on the nose, ear "squeaking" which is what moms do to their baby pups when they mess up, they bite their ear only hard enough until the pup squeaks so they know they messed up.

I've tried putting him on his back and standing over him to show dominance. I've tried distracting him when I know something that might upset him comes around. I've tried putting him in time out, which works for a short period, but he always freaks out again.

He's definitely been properly socialized with other dogs and people, so that's definitely not the issue. I think that it might be that we were negatively disciplining him with hitting, which taught him aggression.


I'm absolutely under no circumstance willing to even consider putting him down or getting rid of him. I think that I made this problem and am willing to do whatever it takes to fix it. I can't afford a dog trainer, so that's 100% out of the question. So I pretty much just need lots and lots of tips on how to adjust this behavior.

By Jalka Jakkara from SD


Training an Aggressive Dog

No hitting. You are right in thinking that is where the anger in him developed. He needs exercise. Lots and lots of it. That serves 2 purposes. One is bonding and it is downright fun for both of you. (11/23/2010)

By vicki hood

Training an Aggressive Dog

Some dogs as they mature, just get aggressive and there is for no reason for it. Sometime they are asserting their own dominance and not protectiveness. You have a long road ahead because he is still young. If you can't get him under control and he does bite someone then you will have to make choices.


In the meantime you should start aggressive obedience training on the leash and always keep him at a heel on your left side when walking outside. When anyone or thing approaches make him sit and stay that way until the the coast is clear.If you have to hold on to him by his collar to keep him sitting until he learns to sit by himself then that is the route you take. You have more control of a sitting dog than a standing one. This will be hard in the beginning but he will come around because you are the leader of his pack and you will make him do this. There is no need to hit him.

Firmness in your voice and following through with training always works. Bringing treats to give to him after he sits and heels is good also. He should be able to sit and stay indoors off leash when you tell him. I also keep a spray bottle of water close by in the house for my dog (Boxer/Pitbull). She sometimes gets aggressive over her toys and food with the other dogs.


When the growling starts I do a little yelling and sometimes spray her with water and this stops the bad behavior because I'm boss. When I say sit, no matter where we are, all three of my dogs sit. It does take patience and it is not easy. Good Luck! (11/23/2010)

By xintexas

Training an Aggressive Dog

You sound like a responsible owner trying to do the right thing in the interest of all concerned but unfortunately any pit-bull cross can be a handful and puppy should never have left his mum/litter mates until eight weeks of age. And what ever was the Veterinarian thinking to de-sex a three month old puppy. Be aware that you are libel if he injures another animal or human. Never, ever hit a Dog they will retaliate in the only way they know. Good luck. (11/23/2010)


Training an Aggressive Dog

I have used the information on this website when I had inter-dog issues with my dog. They have free web lessons also lesson on video that you can order.

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By merlene smith

Training an Aggressive Dog

You have a big problem, the dog could seriously injure or kill another animal, or even a human (child). That is what is not acceptable! You could try to use a squirt bottle, filled with water, and squirt him when he misbehaves, but it will most likely not be effective on a dog like that. I think the cross of Pitbull is the problem, and you have to face it. These are unpredictable dogs. check the statistics online. Unfortunate but true. (11/24/2010)

By Anne

Training an Aggressive Dog

Watch dog whisperer, he is really great with dogs. (11/24/2010)

By sugar

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