Rabbit dogs are meant to be fierce and dedicated on the hunting field, but keeping them disciplined when off the field is also imperative. As a dog owner, doggie aggression is something that I have had to deal with, and it requires an entirely separate approach from standard dog training. A dog that displays excessive aggression is indication of a behavior problem that could manifest on and off the hunting field. Aggression stems from all types of issues: fear, alpha behavior, frustration, boredom, etc. Sometimes a dog may be aggressive without realizing, if they are playing around. It all depends on the personality of your dog.
Root of the Problem
If possible, find out if your dog has a history of being abused. Dogs will draw back on their experiences when interacting with humans. Dogs can be afraid or suspicious of men in general, if they have had a bad experience with a man that abused them. It is important to analyze your dog to study what makes it tick so you know where to start.
Signs of Aggression
Excessive barking or growling are obvious signs of aggression. Watch out for biting as well. When dogs bite, they often do so in a playful manner, but you can distinguish between a playful bite and one that is meant to break skin. Rapid breaths is another sign of aggression, and a deeper indication of fear or anxiety.
Doggie anxiety is not something that is frequently discussed in the canine community, but it is real, and there is medication for it. A dog will act out if feeling threatened or fearful in any way. If you discover that your dog has doggie anxiety, speak to your vet about this issue, and he or she may be able to prescribe certain medications. NEVER give medication to a dog without a vet prescription. Outside of the vet, you can do little things like checking the surroundings of your pet\'s home. Make sure that your pet is comfortable around his or her quarters, and watch its interaction, if you have other animals in the home. You can also alleviate anxiety by spending time with your dog. Playing outside for a short while, or simple petting and touching, will allow the dog to know that he or she is needed and loved around the home. One of the most important thing when training a hunting dog is letting the animal know that it is needed, and that you depend on it. Conduct retrieval exercises like fetching a newspaper, or a simple toy around the home. This will make the dog feel more important around the home.
Obedience training is one option, but a great portion of keeping your dog disciplined falls on you. Getting them acclimated to humans is one key step. Have a friend come over to visit the animal. Hold back the animal to see how it responds to your friend. Have your friend stick out his or her hand in a friendly manner to show that the person is not a threat. This gives your aggressive dog a chance to be friendlier around humans. For excessive barking, flare up and say things like \"No!\" Use hand gestures like pointing to show that the behavior is not appropriate.
Shock collars are also an option, but be careful with these devices, since you don\'t want to hurt, or instill more fear in the animal. And when it comes to training, POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT is the most important element. You want to curb the aggression, but you don\'t want to meet negative with more negative energy. When your dog responds to your commands reward them with a treat. If your dog is unneutered, having them fixed is a good way to lower aggression. It is not only good in maintaining their behavior, but it also keeps down the pet population.