Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Kennel aggression can be a serious issue. This week I show you Diesel and the steps we took to curb his behavior. There wasn't a single event that created this behavior with Diesel. From what I could discover, it may have just been puberty.
When this type of behavior starts a lot of people think they need to stay close or establish "dominance" when the dog begins to growl. This is the complete opposite of what needs to be done. The reason the dog growls is because they are uncomfortable. Think about this with a human example. You are uncomfortable with someone in your personal space. You then ask the person to give you some space. That person looks back at you, smiles, and doesn't move. Are you going to feel more comfortable or less comfortable? The more this discomfort happens the worse the aggression behaviors will become.
It is better to give the animal something else to do and rewarding them to start a desensitizing (or getting used to) process. Eventually they associate the presence of people by the things they were guarding with good things like treats or play. When they have good things to associate then there is no reason to guard. Then you can add other people and things to the mix as progress is made to let the pup get used to more and more stimuli.