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‘Dogfather’ Graeme Hall’s ‘repetition’ tip for dogs aggressive towards guests
August 10, 2021
Professional dog expert Graeme Hall has shared some advice on what owners should do if their pets are becoming aggressive towards visitors.
The star of Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly shared his top tips on his recent podcast, where several listeners shared some concerns they had with their pets after lockdown, TeamDogs reports.
A listener named Jane complained about her labrador, who is nearly two years old, becoming territorial towards guests who were staying in her B&B.
Emma, another listener, shared a similar problem after her 11-month-old German Sheppard, Chase, became aggressive when she had a plumber in their home.
Graeme shared that the trick was repetition – he said "one person won't be enough to train your dog,” and instead advised to repeat a similar process each time you introduce someone.
Dogs need to get used to new people coming into their space and therefore you should introduce people who are particular steady with dogs, explaining to them that they will bark and play up.
However, once the dog has simmered down, it should be the owner who praises the dog – not the visitor.
Explaining that it depends on your dog, if you should have them on or off lead when first meeting people, Graeme said: “I think on lead is fine, but don’t just hold on for dear life and pull back, back, back.
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“It’s a bit like the police officer training, you hold them back to make them rev up, on the other hand you can’t just let them terrify the person so there is an element of control but just be aware not to get stuck in the constant dragging back.”
Graeme added that when dogs pass a certain level of excitement, they lose the ability to think straight, so it’s best to avoid a shouting match and always remain calm.
Noting that Terrier breeds can be harder to train than other dogs, he advised that the reward has to be one that your particular dog will appreciate, as not all are food orientated.
It is important to remember that in most cases, dogs haven’t been introduced to anyone new in some time now because of the pandemic, so this is fresh for them as well.
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Speaking about those who added puppies to their families during the lockdown, the 54-year-old said: “If you had a dog that was a puppy at the beginning of lockdown, their whole life has been that nobody has come past this point so that’s how they decide what the boundaries are.”
If you had a visitor who was bringing their own dog into your home, it’s best for the two dogs to meet first outside on a casual walk according to the Yorkshireman.