By, Raising Canine

Answers to questions are based on the information provided. It’s always a good idea to have your pet thoroughly examined by a veterinarian when having behavior problems. Although I can give general information and management suggestions on serious behavior problems such as aggression, issues such as these can be a very serious problem and a certified dog trainer should be consulted.

I need help fast! My parents are visiting with their two small dogs. My 4 year old female mix is being super aggressive. Barking any time the two dogs move. Any way to get her comfortable with the other dogs quickly

Unfortunately, probably not. It sounds like your dog needs some serious remedial socialization – gradual exposure to other dogs and possibly people. If this is not a behavior that happens outside the home, then you need to work on gradually introducing dogs and people to your home environment, reinforcing her when she’s calm. Always keep proximity in mind – i.e., the further away the other dogs, the less reactive your dog will likely be.

Meanwhile, I would recommend separating the dogs – put yours up in a crate or room and let your parents’ dogs hang out with the family for a while, then put your parents’ dogs up and let your dog hang out with the family. To try to train your dog to accept your parents’ dogs will likely not be effective and will only detract from your parents’ visit.

Once your parents have gone, I would recommend consulting with a good trainer and working on this problem so the next time your parents visit, it won’t be an issue.

If you have questions for the trainer, please send them to STT@EastValleyDogTraining.com. Susan Smith, CDBC, CPDT-KA, is a dog trainer in San Tan Valley, AZ, specializing in pet dog training as well as cat and parrot training—from obedience behaviors to serious problems such as aggression. She can be contacted at sue@eastvalleydogtraining.com. Sue is also the owner of Raising Canine, LLC which provides professional education to animal trainers.

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