Question by : Fear Based Aggession: Different Techniques?
What have you successfully used (or seen used) for a dog with fear-based aggression?
I’ll start off by mentioning that I have been working with a personal aggression specialist dog trainer since August this year. My bullmasiff (2yr female) has increasingly gotten more and more aggressive towards people and animals, particularly at night time lately. Lunging, snapping, growling, etc.

Our trainer has us implementing the positive reinforcement training with her using clicker training (meaning: she looks at something she typically lunges at, when no reaction occurs, a click, then treat). While she was showing signs of improvement within a month or so after training started, since winter arrived with sunlight gone early, she has gotten worse and worse.
We are still working with other techniques with our training, we have now resorted to trying a natural “relax aid” similar to that for anxiety attacks in humans. That’s not working now either.

Personally, I am a believer that when it comes to dog aggression (whether fear based or other) it needs to be dealt with immediately, and strictly. We have been working very hard (and to the letter of the trainers recommendations) at this PRT system, but it’s not sinking in with our bullmastiff. When strangers come into our home that we know (including family and friends) she is they typical gentle giant that we know and love. On walks, not even close. She is so alert and scanning the area for something to react to that the clicker training isn’t working. Neither is this natural spray (Rescue Remedy) which was an attempt to calm her down for walks.

During daylight on her walks, she is somewhat better, but seems to know when it’s “bathroom walks” or “training walks”. Training walks she seems as though she has caught on to our training where she will look at something, show signs that she will react, listen for the ‘click’, take her treat, turn around and lunge at what she was staring down. Again, my trainer has given us more techniques to use, I was just seeing what everyone’s thoughts are on this.
I honestly have never owned an aggressive dog (we also have a bulldogge who is great, very calm, but the bullmastiff hasn’t learned anything through observing his interactions though) so the more information, the better.

Just thought I’d see what some thoughts are out here today. I have our 4th follow up session with the trainer next week so I thought maybe I could have some things to bring up with her from some answers here.
I do have a friend who is using the remote e-collar on his Brazilian Mastiff (showing some signs off aggression also) and he said he is getting excellent response from him for training.
Thanks in advance!
Forgot to mention that we have taken her to the vet prior to getting our private training for another wellness exam. The vet ruled out any thyroid issues, etc. but he did recommend this trainer that we have right now after we filled out their questionnaire.
We have owned her since she was around 2.5 months.
She was socialized as a puppy, these behaviors didn’t start surfacing until around the 1.5yr mark, which our trainer/behaviorist said was normal for her breed. They get walked well over an hour per day which is enough to tire them out completely.
It’s not a boredom thing. As I mentioned, the trainer we are working with easily identified (as did our vet) that it is fear-based, not from lack of exercise or activity.
We were just comparing the positive reward training vs. other options
Thanks for the answer =)

Best answer:

Answer by Spirt
With your dog it mostly depends in what you train her but if she is aggressive it can be that she might be getting overly stressed or over protective about something. If she is a rescue it could be something in her past that could have happened and so she becomes a bit worry of what happens around her, or just alot of new changes that going to happen such as all the training vet visits and maybe the thyroid but it might now.She is also two so it can depend on her training as a pup and how she reacts to the environment its self as they can be protective dogs since they would be considered as working breeds and are use to using alot of energy for guard dogs so might just be getting bored and deciding to want to be in charge pushing her wait around a bit.But its good to train and patients just don’t push the dog past its limits or it can get worse and will stop obeying commands so step by step.

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