If you have an overprotective dog, it doesn’t mean you can never have friends over to visit. Several reasons may cause your dog to be overprotective. Still, luckily there are several things you can do to help your dog become more socialized and friendly with other people and animals.
Reasons Why Your Dog Becomes Overprotective
While most dogs become overprotective of their owners because they weren’t properly socialized as a puppy, some other reasons can cause their aggressive behavior toward others:
Dog owners are often the reason their dog becomes overprotective. You can unknowingly reinforce overprotective behavior by rewarding your dog with attention, and the person they are being aggressive toward will often go away. It doesn’t matter if you’re mad at the dog for the behavior. The attention is still a reward.
Lack of Structure or Rules
Dogs need a structure, schedule, and house rules. Otherwise, your dog will think he is the alpha dog of the house, and part of his job is to protect the family and its territory. You don’t need to rule with an iron fist, but your dog needs clear rules and guidelines to help them feel confident and secure within the family.
Anxiety and Fear
Dogs can be overprotective and aggressive when they are afraid or anxious around new people and animals. This fear and anxiety can stem from not being socialized enough while a puppy and some dogs breeds are more susceptible to anxiety and fear from strangers.
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Related Link: How to Deal with a Dog Wetting the Bed
3.3 million dogs are sent to shelters each year, often for abuse. If your dog is a rescue dog that came from an abusive home before you rescued it, it can make the dog very nervous and act aggressively toward others. There is still hope for your dog, and with training and management, you can train your dog to stop being overprotective.
Some dogs are more overprotective by nature. The most overprotective breeds include:
- Belgian Malinois
- German Shepherds
- Doberman Pinschers
- Giant Schnauzers
- Rhodesian Ridgebacks
If your dog is one of these breeds, it is essential to socialize them as much as possible.
Can You Train a Labrador to be a Guard Dog
Yes, even though Labradors are one of the friendliest breeds, they can also be trained as guard dogs. Labradors are big enough, obedient, and intelligent enough to be trained to protect. This home security site has some great tips for training your Labrador as a guard dog.
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Related Link: 9 Best Ways to Calm Your Dog
How Do I Stop My Dog Being Overprotective?
Socialization is the best way to help your dog stop overprotective behaviors. Because your dog has aggressive behavior, you’ll need to be very careful and patient as you socialize your dog.
Ways to Socialize an Overprotective Dog
You’ll want to socialize your dog as much as possible to help reduce bad behaviors and help your dog understand that being around strangers and visitors is okay. Here are some of our best tips for socializing your aggressive dog:
- Use Calm Assertive Energy: If your dog senses nervous energy from you, then your dog will feel the need to be more protective. By acting calm and assertive, your dog will recognize that you are in control of the situation and won’t become nervous or aggressive.
- Pick Calm and Assertive Guests: Likewise, you don’t want to put your dog in a situation where they are around aggressive or nervous people or pets. This can cause your dog to be protective. Pick friends and other dogs that are chill around dogs and can be assertive to keep your dog in check.
- Be Social with Your Dog: As often as possible, you’ll want to put your dog in social situations. This could be going to the park, on walks with others, or scheduling playdates. If your dog still struggles, give some space between your dog and others to help your dog become more comfortable.
- Use a Professional Trainer: If all else fails and your dog still shows aggressive behavior toward others, you may want to enlist the help of a professional dog trainer. They’ll be able to identify your dog’s triggers and can work with your dog to manage their aggressive behavior.
Why is My Dog Protective Of My Other Dog?
Sometimes your dog can become protective of more than just its owners but other pets in the home. If your dog feels protective of your other dog, it may feel like it is stronger or the alpha and needs to protect its pack.
Do You Want Your Dog to Be More Protective?
Wondering if your dog has what it takes to become a guard dog? Here is a handy Will My Dog Protect Me Test to determine if your dog has the personality to become a guard dog.
You Can Manage Your Overprotective Dog With Patience and Socializing
With time, patience, and lots of socializing, there is hope for your overprotective dog. If you follow our tips, recognize your dog’s triggers, and keep calm around your dog, you’ll be able to manage your dog’s aggressive behavior with time.
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Related Link: Tips On How to Help Dogs Get Along