HERE ARE SEVEN THINGS THAT HAVE HELPED ME PREVENT REACTIONS and reduce aggression from my own dog-aggressive dog about other dogs. THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS TO WORK ON REDUCING DOG AGGRESSION, these are just 7 things that helped *my*dog. I am writing another thread on shy dogs who aggress towards humans, THIS THREAD is about persistent, inappropriate, ongoing aggression from your dog-aggressive dog towards other DOGS. I'm not a pro, just someone who loves her dog-aggressive dog, and this might not help with your dog. I hope others also post what has actually helped their dogs reduce their aggression. I think tricks training is GREAT for dogs with issues, it helps strenghten the bond, and makes focusing on you easier. Helping your dog reduce his aggression takes a bit of practice, and gets easier for both me, and for the dog, the more i use it. It’s really not that hard, but it does take ongoing efforts and consistency. Be sure to look over #6, too, for “general desensitizing” to dogs in your own neighborhood. And i hope all ppl who are NEW to working with any aggressive dogs will read #7 about growling dogs. The first 5 are ones I use to keep Buddy calm while out on a walk. Buddy *used to* react at 300 feet away, very vicious, he'd bite any dog he got close to, and now, we are down to about 5 or 10 feet, and often, no reaction at all. And his reactions are NOT as severe, briefer, less often, easier to interrupt, etc. His reactions USED TO be crazed, wild eyed, insane lunging and screaming and he’d totally attack any dog he got a chance to. Besides having actual doggie friends now, Buddy can now walk calmly by *most* unknown dogs in his neighborhood, *most* of the time. (see #6) Buddy has even made several canine pals, some of which he LOVES now, and has also been desensitized to most of our friends’ dogs, many that he wanted to kill at first. MOST ANY DOG THAT I HAVE REGULAR ACCESS TO, I can usually desensitize Buddy to, sooner or later. Not all, but most. He’s NOT cured, but, he’s better, and easier to manage and I’m still learning, and my dog is still improving. WALKING THE DOG-AGGRESSIVE DOG: #1) First off---------PROPER LEASH FOR THE TASK--------- --- i threw out the extenda-leash, and taught Buddy to heel on an ordinary 6 foot leash. I tied a knot to hold in my own hand, to mark where he should be beside me, so i don't have to look to see where he is. The leash is slack, and he is right beside me, not in front. That really really helped my dog, but, can't explain why, but, it DID HELP!!! A LOT!! (who knew?) I think all dogs should be able to heel upon request anyway. He still gets his full speed runs in empty, fenced-in cemeteries and empty fenced-in school yards or empty parks, but now he walks on a short leash. I wish I had realized LONG AGO how detrimental that extenda-leash was for *my* dog’s ability to stay calm…………sigh. If your dog is still breaching on end of leash, consider using a chest harness instead of a neck collar. But walking in a heel---just doing THAT---cuts breaching down by like, 90% !! for my dog anyway. Google “kikopup loose leash” for help to begin to teach heel or loose leash walking: (it’s not that hard, do it!) Many people use head-halters for dog-aggressive dogs. If you DO choose to use one, it is VIP you take the time to desensitize your dog to the head-halter itself, and never ever ever pull or yank on a dog in a head-halter, as you could hurt their neck. #2) secondly-----------KEEP YOUR SELF CALM------------ To help your OWN SELF stay CALM if you see oncoming dogs that your dog might react to: Try a yawn. Has to be a REAL yawn, though, fake it til you make it. This can relax YOU. I also use this if I am worried about an appt, etc, it truly works if you can muster up a real yawn. Yawning releases relaxing hormones into your bloodstream, like a shot of valium. I do NOT think us being calm prevents reactions, nope, not at all........ but if we DO freak out, that WILL or could exacerbate our dog's fears, imo. But my dog has reacted when I was so calm, that I wasn’t even paying att’n ………… and my dog has stayed calm when I was nervous, so it’s not like your dog is an extension of you. The dog IS his own separate being. But you being afraid won’t help you make best choices. ALSO, When i see oncoming dogs, I DO talk to the other human, though, almost every time. But, i'm very outgoing, this is very easy for me to do. in happy, calm voice, "Oh, what a cute dog, how old is it?" kinda thing, or, "Isn't this weather great?" etc etc. So Buddy can Hear i am not afraid. I really never ever get nervous nowadays to walk my gangsta dog by unknown dogs now, (oh I USED TO!) Now, I am used to it. Some days we win, some days we lose. What is the worst that can happen? So my dog barks away like a gangsta while we leave, how bad is that. Big noisy moment. So what. No big deal. It’s no big shocker, I already know he is my lil gangsta, doing the best he can. We are all doing the best we can. And dog-aggression is genetic, shows up at about 9 mos old. We can make them better, or worse, but their brains are different on MRIs. (another thread) #3) THIRDLY------------------USE DOG LANGUAGE------------- I DO USE DOG LANGUAGE to help Buddy stay calm. This has to be done PRIOR to a reaction, AT FIRST SIGNS of reaction. So far, for me, it’s fairly useless once Buddy is in the middle of a full reaction, but PRIOR to a reaction, it’s very effective. I ask for a “look at me” and when Buddy looks at me, i give him SLOW BLINKS, and a noise-y yawn. THE DOG HAS TO LOOK AT YOU TO *SEE* THE SLOW BLINKS AND YAWN, but once he has SEEN your slow blink and the Yawn, the dog does NOT need to stay focused on you after that for this exercise. I learned this trick from Tx_cowgirl, and it's also in a book, "On Talking Terms with Dogs/Calming signals" by Turid Rugass, and from Kikopup on youtube, LIKE THIS: YAWN/SLOW BLINKS, deep slow sighs - THAT MEANS “CALM DOWN” in your dog’s OWN language. Often, Buddy will yawn or slow-blink back. Sometimes Buddy turns his head away, that is good, too. THIS really helps my dog. a lot. OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE TRIED, using “calming signals” works the best for *my* particular dog. I've even got a handful of miracles to report using those calming signals…yes I do! I told a pal to try this YAWN/SLOW BLINKS, and she did, BUT, SHE DID THIS FROM BEHIND HER DOG and her dog had no idea she'd slow blinked or yawned , and i busted out laffin when she told me. SO IT WILL *NOT* HELP IF your dog doesn't SEE you slow blink/yawn---------- thus, you need a solid, "look at me" just to give the calming signals to the dog. If you ever do this, and your dog then stands and starts to fake-sniff the ground, with his side towards 'enemy dog'----------- leave your dog alone, wait silently, he IS doing the right thing. ~~~DO NOT INTERRUPT THE FAKE SNIFF~~~ Just wait. And feel secretly happy about it. YOu will know it is a fake sniff, cuz, ~they do it when they see an oncoming dog ~they don't inhale deeply, ~they don't blow out their nostrils to re-sniff ~and they don't move about to follow the sniff, not even one step. They look like dog statues, posing with their noses in the grass, not moving, not breathing deep, = a fake sniff. THIS IS BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER your dog can offer, but most ppl miss seeing it happen and drag the dog along when he is TRYING to do the right thing here. So DO watch for the FAKE SNIFF, and be very happy about this “answer” to your yawn. When my dog does his fake sniff, he can even calm down OTHER reactive dogs, if *i* do not interrupt it. HOPE YOU EVER GET TO WITNESS YOUR DOG OFFERING A FAKE SNIFF! It means "i'm just over here minding my own business, i'm no threat". All nearby dogs calm down, and me and my dog just walk by calmly then. Often, Buddy will walk by still in a sniffing position, as he passes by the other reactive dog. That’s okay, let him sniff his way right by the other dog. I do not offer Buddy yawns just for NO reason.------ But, i DO make him stop, and 'look at me' randomly, so when i need to use "look at me", he won't "alarm". ALSO, you have to TEACH “look at me” just like you teach any other cue. Many ppl try to TEACH the “look at me” cue WHILE their dog is upset. (?) No one would try to teach “rollover” when plates are being thrown on the floor,but yet, many ppl try to TEACH how to “look at me” to a dog who is over the threshold/while the dog IS reacting. Steps #4, #5, #6, "desesensitization, and #7"growling" are below in replies. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!! I hope i might be helping others get inspired to keep on trying!!? DON’T GIVE UP, we CAN reduce the aggression in our dogs, And we CAN raise the dog’s threshold. We can help our dogs get over their dog aggression, one dog at a time. And each dog they DO get used to, also seems to reduce their overall aggression. And you CAN help your dog become his best possible self, and even live a happier life. PLEASE POST WHAT HAS HELPED YOUR DOG HAVE LESS dog-AGGRESSION?? There are lots of other ways to work on this issue!!!