Two must read books for dog-dog aggresson training


New Member
I'm currently reading two books to help deal with Baxter's dog issues. Baxter is coming around mainly on his own (I got the books in the mail the day he decided being around the other boys wasn't a problem) but still has problems with dogs he's not been desensitized to (he snapped at my neighbor's Lab this afternoon).

FIGHT! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression by Jean Donaldson

(links take you to their pages on Click to Calm is on sale right now!)

Click to Calm is a book beneficial for EVERY dog owner to read. It outlines in extremely easy to understand step-by-step instructions for teaching the most basic of behaviors to your dogs, and goes on to give detailed tips for making your training successful. It even explains in detail how to use these behaviors to help dogs with aggression.

Fight! is written by an animal behaviorist and breaks down the different types of dog-dog aggression and then outlines step by step the methods in which to tackle them. This book is not for beginner trainers to try on their own. It is written for professional trainers but if you're seeking help with your dog from a trainer, this would be a great read to understand why the trainer is taking certain approaches. If your trainer hasn't read the book, it would be a great one to share!

Now i just have to get Baxter over his fear of the clicker!!! :doglaugh:


New Member
I think i need to check out the click to calm book b/c one of my dogs is resource 'aggressive' (he doesn't go at to bite but to 'guard' whatever he thinks is his) and think this may give me some ideas for correcting this 'trained' behavior 'habit' that he has created. Thanks for sharing.


Honored Member
Good luck on working with Baxter. My Buddy is dog-aggressive with some dogs, he doesn't mind labs, real old dogs, baby dogs, small dogs, most medium dogs, a few large dogs, but really has a thing for Rotties, German Shepherds, and pit bulls. EVERY single one of those that he sees, "it's on now!!":msniwonder:

Okay, and once he growled at a chihuahua...:dogblush:

But it was right after he'd just seen the rottie...Poor ol Buddy, my lil gangsta.

We have made much progress, but have a ways to go. Guess i will get these books.

I have been sitting out in my front yard and getting Buddy(on leash!) to sit and be calm when dogs and their walkers go by. Is cute, cuz each dog that goes by, is easier to get Buddy to be calm for the next dog going by. LIke, he gets it, "oh, THIS is what you want me to do? oohhhhhh."

Sometimes, i take him to be introduced, other times, i am just glad to have Buddy not react, and give him much praise for sitting calmly. He sat calmly while his nemisis, the 110 lb rottie walked by!! WOOHOO!!

We'd introduced him and the rottie, it went okay, i thought that would be the end of it,:dognowink: but nope--still, every time Buddy sees that rottie, he loses his mind.:dogmad:

We're working on that, too...I can get Buddy to NOT react to the rottie ONLY if i am next to Buddy coaching him to be calm. Otherwise, Buddy acts like this::dogmad: I've seen Buddy see the rottie, glance back to see if i am around, :msngiggle:and then bark his head off if Buddy thinks i am not watching.

I have also been following some advice i got here, on some other thread, and walk Buddy by a house that has a GS that Buddy is afraid/aggressive about. As we walk closer, the moment Buddy reacts/begins to react to that house, we stop, i put him into a sit, and work hard to get him distractded by me, does a simple trick like "Look at Me" or "shake paw", and then praised for that, lavish praise til he smiles at me. :dogbiggrin: Each day we got closer.
Some days we can sit right across the street and and play!! :yipi: (on leash, of course!)


Honored Member
Ey, i FINALLY got my copy of "click to calm", so many people advised me to get this book, and i am reading it and loving the heck outa this book!!:msnhugegrin:


Honored Member
Ha, this week, i noticed something about Buddy's dog agression issues. Two different people asked me Buddy must really react if a dog is in his home/yard. That is how i came to notice, no, Buddy does NOT react to dogs in his own home or yard.
Almost never. Nope. He may posture/play around a bit roughly here or there with a new dog, to check each other out, but nothing aggressive.

Maybe he feels 'safe' HERE...?
Not sure why this is, and kinda surprised i had never noticed this. But Buddy is fine here. at home.
It is OUT THERE, especially when on-leash, that Buddy reacts. Isn't that weird!?

I have gotten where i do drop his leash when he greets oncoming dogs, and it goes way way better for Buddy if his leash is on the ground. I don't do this immediatly, but pretty soon after.

The other day, i dropped his leash, cuz it appeared it would go well, and after a few moments, one or both of the dogs changed his mind, and they started arguing/barking and kinda mildly snarling at each other. THIS has never happened off-leash before with Buddy, not for a long long time anyway---------oh yeah, happens ON LEASH a lot, but was first time off leash in a long, long time.

The cool part was, instead of attacking/biting/escalating, Buddy backed up away from the dog and continued his barking. I took his leash and led him away.

I tell ya, one week, i think he is angel boy, next week, he is like, "Not so fast, mom!!" lol!


New Member
My 'Click to calm' is on its way! My dog isn't necessarily dog aggressive..she could potentially get a long with any dog, however she doesn't appreciate strange dogs who hang around her butt too long. So if they don't take a hint and leave her alone after a couple secs she will tell them off pretty strongly. She inhibits her bites so she never does any real damage, but it's a scary scene and I avoid off-leash dog parks because of this.

"It is OUT THERE, especially when on-leash, that Buddy reacts. Isn't that weird!?"

Actually that sounds like a separate problem from dog aggression. Leash aggression- if he normally gets along well with other dogs when off leash. Leash aggression is more an issue of your dog gets so over excited upon seeing another dog, he wants to say hi NOW and the leash prevents him from doing so creating a frustration that translates into growling, lunging, barking etc. It's sounds like your doing exactly the kind of training a leash aggressive dog would need (desensitization), and thankfully leash aggression is typically easier to work with than actual dog aggression. You want to keep him under his threshold level..anytime he becomes reactive and goes over that threshold it enforces the behavoir. Start far enough away from the other dog that he doesn't react at all..and slowly get closer and closer (over several different sessions) always keeping him below his threshold. If her reacts 40" away from the other dog start working at 50" and bring his threshold level down over time so eventually you can have another dog 5" away and he is still under his threshold level, non reactive. :msnwink: