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Cruisin' Canines

If you’re new to dog ownership, and you’re seeing signs of aggression in your dog, you’re not alone—plenty of dogs experience these phases of aggressive behavior, whether they’re a recent rescue or you’ve had them for years. Thankfully, no matter when aggressive tendencies show themselves, you’re not stuck dealing with them on your own. Specific dog training classes and tips are available for you to better handle your pet, and to help your dog make the transition from high-strung or mean to calm, cool and collected.

Tips for the Home

Your first step with aggressive dog behavior can be trying to train your dog at home. As with any other training, positive reinforcement (treats, praise) will be more effective than training with negative reinforcement (hitting or swatting the dog)—try to praise your dog when they are showing good behavior like being quiet, sitting calmly, etc. This teaches the dog that you like it when they do things like that, and that when they act differently, they won’t be praised or get treats. Exercise extreme consistency with your training—make sure to scold the dog with a strong-sounding “No” when they are misbehaving, and to praise them when they show good behavior. This establishes a routine of how they should act.

Pinpoint the reasons they are acting hostile (are they anxious, scared, jealous, angry?) and work from there. There are generally three types of aggression—dominance aggression, wherein the dog thinks he is superior to you; fear-based aggression, wherein the dog is afraid of a traumatic incident in its past repeating; and territorial aggression, which is what happens when another animal or person encroaches on the dog’s space. Territorial aggression is the most common, and while fixable, is very involved and labor-intensive—you have to be consistent and determined. Make sure to take your dog on plenty of walks so that it gets enough exercise—sometimes, this can mean hiring a dog walker to stop in when you’re unable to do so.

Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

One way to satisfy an aggressive dog before training is to use dog chew toys intended for aggressive chewers. These durable dog toys can hold up to strong bites while helping to redirect the dog’s aggression to a different target. However, these dog toys for strong chewers aren’t the only solution you should rely on, and training may be the best way to help make your pet less aggressive.

Aggressive Dog Training in Chicago

If you live in Chicago, and have an aggressive dog, there are a handful of trainers out there specializing in aggressive behavior. Here are a few that you can consider to start with:


When you need held with an aggressive dog, don’t lose hope—sometimes, acknowledging there’s a problem that needs to be fixed is the best thing you can do.

One Response

  1. As an owner of a rescue dog, I was dealing with some big issues like excessive barking, aggression towards other dogs, and separation anxiety when I first got him. I tried to research a few techniques and train my dog, for a few months at home, but it wasn’t working great. It was getting pretty frustrating so I decided to research a dog training company for in-home training sessions. That’s when I called Cruisin Canines! After about 4 sessions, I saw such a big change in my dog! He started to actually listen to basic commands and was much better at and socializing with other dogs. I learned so many techniques to use and now have a better understanding of how he might be feeling. I’m looking forward to utilizing your dog walking services in Chicago next!

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Cruisin' Canines logo of a white dog with an orange background