The growl or the bite

A lot of people mistake a growl as a separate behavior from a bite or any other aggressive behavior. A growl IS the aggressive behavior in a more minor form. Catching the behavior at the growl when the dog is more “subdued” increases your chances of the dog processing what you are correcting for.
Correcting a dog growling will NOT make them go straight to the bite. The growl is the first part of the sequence of escalation in dog aggression. You are punishing the THOUGHT of acting aggressive, not a separate behavior. Once you have done that and established a boundary then you can reward for an appropriate behavior knowing that you inhibited the response.
I have seen all too many times people use treats with aggressive dogs only to get bit in the process. Just because you have something that the dog wants does not mean that that will not flip in an instant.


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