Our dogs can become overprotective without any reason, & if you have one you know how it feels like. Too much attachment or protectiveness is a seriously dangerous situation. Sometimes, dogs can become so protective & jealous that they can show aggressive behavior to stop strangers from getting too close to their beloved owners. If you have experienced this before then you know how terrifying the situation becomes.
Correcting the problem
The lack of leadership makes dog overprotective. If you really want to overcome your dog’s negative behavior then it’s a good idea to become pack leader. You should teach your dogs some rules, boundaries and limitation to know the dog that what is right & what is wrong.
It’s all your decision to overcome the dog by redirecting when your dog suddenly starts to bark excessively at something to warn. Never yell at your dog if he/she is being overprotective because the dog will become more excited & will continue the chaos.
Also you need to teach your dog that he needs to approach only when you invite him not when he wants to, if your dog leans on you then you better to push the dog away because not allowing the dog to become too attached keeps the balance of affection toward you. If you do these for few days, your dog will become less affectionate to you.
How to stop an overprotective dog
You should never praise the dog if he is barking or growling aggressively. If your dog becomes insecure or nervous around certain group of people then it’s your job to make him feel secure. You may use clicker & also love your dog when he meets new people. If you want to take complete control of your dog when you go outside then you must use leash. You will be able control the aggressiveness & stop him from running away.
Another important thing is that you need to become a pack leader or an ideal parent of your dog. Because if you become responsible dog owner then you can expect that your dog will obey you all the time. To control the aggressive behavior doesn’t mean you always have to be rude to stop your dog but it means that you need to be kind enough. The main key is balancing between being kind & rude to teach your dog which behaviors are acceptable & which are not.
You should always say no whenever your dog does something inappropriate because this will teach him what he should not do. If your dog becomes aggressive toward family members then you must use leash so that he doesn’t scare/harm those people.
You can take your dog to the trainer because they are the best & most experienced in teaching behaviors also dog owners have experienced a great positive behaviors after the training session. If you are busy then this is the best solution for you.
You must take this behavior seriously. If you don’t take this behavior seriously then your dog will become worse & it will develop as a behavior pattern in future. If a behavior pattern is completely developed then it’s very very difficult to break. So you must take care of it before it’s too late.
Wrapping it up
Rewarding bad behavior. We all dog owners know that, dogs are reward driven. Many dog owners do not realize that they are unwillingly rewarding their dog’s negative behavior which actually increase the chance being overprotective. If you don’t stop your dog from showing negative behaviors then he will keep continuing. For example: If you yell at your dog when he bark excessively then he will become excited & will think that you are also joining him, so the barking will never stop rather it will just increase.
You should only reward the behavior which is good & only you want to see. If somehow, your dog suddenly jumps up on you without inviting & you give him attention and love, then your dog will surely think this is a good thing. So you need understand these important things.
Emily Anna is a dog lover who is studying Veterinary Nursing and Bioveterinary Science at University of Bristol. She is a regular author of this blog & also a former author of Lucky Pet Dogs and One Dog Day Care.