It is within a dog’s nature to want to guard their home, family and anything else precious to them such as their toys. Whilst this comes as their innate nature, there is the worst form of this behaviour which is better known as Territorial aggression.
Dominant territorial aggression
Territorial aggression will often occur with the boundaries of which the dog lives in, such as their home and garden. Dogs that are territorial which exhibit signs of defensive and offensives behaviours, such as charging and running fast around the garden, barking aggressively and on some occasions, biting whatever or whoever invades their space.
Dogs that portray territorial aggression are labeled as dominant. More often, these dogs are insecure and show controlling behaviours to feel safe and in order to survive against any form of threat.
Fear territorial aggression
Some dog breeds, mostly those that are herding dog breeds, show some signs of territorial aggression. They could have a low level of dominance but would have the urge to bark anyway. Again, their need to bark is caused by anxiety, feeling insecure and threatened.
- Lifting their upper lip
- Aggressive barking
- Lunging forward
- Doorbell ringing causes them to go into a frenzy
- Aggressive reaction when someone approaches their space
There are various causes for this bad behaviour. There could have been situations where the dog has had success over guarding their food and have won the battle with another dog. This will then cause them to repeat this bad behaviour.
There are also other causes such as:
- Poor socialisation as a puppy
- Their environment
- Genetic issues
- Underlying medical issues
- Their environment
- Pack mentality behaviour
Can I train my territorial aggressive dog?
If your dog is showing signs of aggressive behaviour and over protecting their belongings, then it is necessary to seek professional guidance and help from a trainer that will help you deal with this situation better. A qualified trainer will teach you ways in which to control and cope with these situations. They will also assist in recognising the triggers of what causes the territorial aggressive behaviours and help teach the dog that this isn't necessary and teach them ways in which to calm down and feel more relaxed when strangers approach them and their territory.
Professional training techniques
Your trainer will also work on helping desensitize your dog and the triggers that set off the aggressive response. The triggers can be anything from human interaction, other dogs or various other stimuli that approach your dog’s territory.
They will work towards providing you with a manageable strategy to help your dog practice more positive behaviours and undo the negative behaviours towards their environment and any other situation they find uneasy.
They will work with you and your dog to teach and encourage them to listen to you and respond better to your commands. With this, they will learn your dog skills to help them control their impulse reactions and modify how they react.
Your dog will learn not to run boundaries and will encourage the dog to not be left outside all day which teaches them bad habits and makes them more territorial.
They will work with you both on how to better approach the public and other dogs. Teaching your dog to be more relaxed in the presence of other people and dogs.
They will also provide tips and techniques to your regular visitors that come to your property and how to react so that the dog remains calm on their arrival.
The bottom Line
A dog that shows signs of territorial aggression can be dangerous and a liability for owners. If they receive no training then the issue is likely to get worst. The best way to deal with this is to provide adequate training and address the issue asap. If left untreated the dog may harm other animals and humans which could result in legal action. You also want the dog to feel happy, so training must be given.