How to Train Submissive Dog to Handle Aggressive Dog

Have you ever wondered how to train a submissive dog to handle an aggressive one? Understanding and addressing the dynamics between submissive and aggressive behavior in dogs is crucial for a harmonious coexistence. This article will provide guidance on how to effectively train a submissive dog to handle an aggressive one, ensuring a safe and peaceful environment for both pets and their owners.

Assessing the situation is the first step in handling the dynamics between submissive and aggressive behavior in dogs. Identifying triggers and patterns of behavior can provide insights into the underlying reasons that lead to conflicts. Once these triggers are understood, a consistent and firm leadership role as the owner/trainer must be established. This leadership role sets the tone for training and interaction between the dogs, creating structure and boundaries that help manage their behavior.

Establishing a positive reinforcement training technique is also essential in shaping the behavior of both dogs. This approach focuses on rewarding desired behaviors, encouraging good conduct while discouraging undesirable actions. It can be particularly effective in empowering and building confidence in submissive dogs, helping them assert themselves when dealing with more dominant or aggressive counterparts.

In this section, we will delve deeper into each aspect of understanding submissive and aggressive behavior in dogs, providing practical insights on how to identify triggers, establish leadership roles, and implement positive reinforcement techniques. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of these behaviors, pet owners can effectively train their submissive dog to handle an aggressive one while promoting peace and harmony within their canine companionship.

Assessing the Situation

Observing Interactions

When training a submissive dog to handle an aggressive dog, it is crucial to carefully observe their interactions. Look for any patterns or triggers that may provoke aggression in the dominant dog, as well as any submissive behaviors that the other dog displays. This will help in understanding the dynamics between the two dogs and identify specific situations or stimuli that lead to potential conflict.



Recognizing Body Language

Understanding canine body language is essential when assessing the situation between a submissive and aggressive dog. Submissive postures such as crouching, averting gaze, or tucking tail can indicate feelings of fear and submission, while dominant behaviors like stiff posture, direct eye contact, or raised hackles may signal aggression. By learning to recognize these cues, you can intervene before a conflict escalates.

Tracking Triggers

Keep a log of any triggers that lead to aggressive behavior in the dominant dog, as well as the submissive dog’s reactions. This could include specific actions, objects, sounds, or even certain people or animals that provoke a response. By tracking these triggers over time, you can start to anticipate potential conflicts and work on desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques to address them.

By carefully assessing the situation and identifying triggers and patterns of behavior between a submissive and aggressive dog, you can create a tailored training plan to help both dogs coexist peacefully. Understanding their dynamics and recognizing potential conflict situations are crucial steps towards successful training and inter-dog relationships.

Establishing a Consistent and Firm Leadership Role as the Owner/Trainer

When dealing with a submissive dog in the presence of an aggressive dog, it is crucial to establish a consistent and firm leadership role as the owner or trainer. Dogs, by nature, thrive in a structured environment where they can trust their human leaders to make decisions. In this situation, the submissive dog needs to feel safe and protected, which can only be achieved if they have confidence in their owner’s ability to manage the situation.

One way to establish leadership is through consistent obedience training. Teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, and come can help reinforce your role as the leader. Additionally, setting boundaries and rules within the household will provide a sense of structure for both dogs. Consistency is key in enforcing these rules so that the submissive dog knows what behavior is expected of them.

Another important aspect of establishing leadership is to maintain control over valuable resources such as food, toys, and attention. This means feeding both dogs separately and supervising playtime to prevent any resource guarding behavior from either dog. By controlling access to resources, you are showing that you are responsible for providing for both dogs and regulating their interactions.

Finally, it’s essential to remain calm and assertive when intervening in any conflicts between the two dogs. Dogs respond best to confident body language and tone of voice. Avoid getting emotional or agitated when managing their interactions as this may confuse or escalate their behavior.

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Training TechniquesLeadership Tool
Obedience TrainingTeaching basic commands
Resource ManagementControlling access to food, toys, and attention
Remain Calm & AssertiveConfident body language & tone of voice

Implementing Positive Reinforcement Training Techniques

Understanding Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a training technique that involves rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, or play. This method focuses on encouraging the submissive dog to display behaviors that are incompatible with fear or submission when in the presence of an aggressive dog.

Training Sessions

Consistent and structured training sessions should be conducted in a controlled environment to teach commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” These commands will help the submissive dog to obey the owner’s instructions and remain calm around the aggressive dog.

Rewarding Calm Behavior

When the submissive dog displays calm behavior in the presence of the aggressive dog, it is important to reward this behavior immediately with treats and verbal praise. This positive reinforcement helps to reinforce the calm response and reduces their submissive tendencies.

Implementing positive reinforcement training techniques is an essential step in training a submissive dog to handle an aggressive dog. By understanding this approach, conducting structured training sessions, and rewarding calm behavior, owners can gradually build confidence and assertiveness in their submissive dogs while creating harmonious interactions with aggressive dogs.

Building Confidence and Assertiveness in the Submissive Dog

Understanding submissive and aggressive behavior in dogs is essential when trying to train a submissive dog to handle an aggressive dog. Submissive behavior in dogs can be characterized by avoiding eye contact, lowered body posture, and retreating from confrontation. On the other hand, aggressive behavior may include barking, growling, or lunging at other dogs. It’s crucial for the owner/trainer to recognize these behaviors in both types of dogs before attempting any training.

One effective way to build confidence and assertiveness in a submissive dog is through positive reinforcement training techniques. This can involve using treats, praise, and rewards to encourage the submissive dog to display more confident behaviors. For example, when the submissive dog stands its ground instead of cowering during interaction with an aggressive dog, it should be praised and rewarded. Consistency is key in this type of training, as it helps the dog associate positive outcomes with confident behavior.



Creating a safe and controlled environment for interaction between the submissive and aggressive dogs is also important when building confidence in the former. This could mean starting with short interactions while leashed and gradually increasing the duration as both dogs become more comfortable with each other. Additionally, providing a safe space for the submissive dog to retreat to if it feels overwhelmed can help build its confidence in challenging situations.

BehaviorDescription
Submissive behaviorAvoiding eye contact, lowered body posture, retreating from confrontation
Aggressive behaviorBarking, growling, or lunging at other dogs

Creating a Safe and Controlled Environment for Interaction Between the Dogs

Creating a safe and controlled environment for interaction between a submissive dog and an aggressive dog is crucial in the training process. Here are some key steps to achieve this:

  • Separate the dogs: Initially, it may be best to keep the dogs separated and gradually introduce them in a controlled manner. This can be done by using baby gates or crates to create physical barriers between the dogs.
  • Leash training: When it’s time for the dogs to interact, make sure both dogs are leashed to prevent any sudden aggressive behavior. This allows for better control over the situation and prevents any potential physical harm.
  • Neutral territory: Choose a neutral territory for their interactions where neither dog feels the need to defend their territory. This can help reduce aggression and create a more controlled environment.

By creating a safe and controlled environment for interaction, you can begin to work on gradually improving their relationship under controlled circumstances. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key components of this process.

It’s important to closely supervise their interactions and be prepared to intervene if necessary. Gradually increasing their exposure to each other while maintaining a safe environment will help build trust and reduce anxiety in both dogs.

Utilizing Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning Methods

Desensitization and counter-conditioning are effective methods for training a submissive dog to handle an aggressive dog. These techniques help to modify the dog’s response to a specific trigger or situation, ultimately changing their emotional reaction. Here are some steps you can take to utilize desensitization and counter-conditioning:

  • Start with identifying the trigger: It’s important to pinpoint what specifically triggers the submissive dog’s submissive behavior in the presence of an aggressive dog. This could be certain body language, a particular sound, or a specific action from the aggressive dog.
  • Create a plan: Once you’ve identified the trigger, devise a plan that gradually exposes the submissive dog to the trigger in a controlled and positive manner.
  • Exposure and positive association: Gradually expose the submissive dog to the trigger at a distance or intensity level that does not elicit a submissive response. Pair this exposure with something pleasant for the submissive dog, such as treats, playtime, or praise.
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By consistently implementing these desensitization and counter-conditioning methods, you can help your submissive dog overcome their submissive behavior when dealing with an aggressive dog. It is crucial to remain patient and persistent throughout this training process, as it may take time for your dog to show progress. If you find that your efforts are not achieving the desired results, it is advisable to seek professional help from a certified dog behaviorist who can provide additional guidance and support.

Seeking Professional Help and Support From a Certified Dog Behaviorist

In some cases, the dynamic between a submissive dog and an aggressive dog may prove to be too challenging to handle on your own. If you are finding it difficult to make progress with the training or if the situation is becoming increasingly dangerous, it may be time to seek professional help from a certified dog behaviorist.

These experts are trained to understand and address complex behavioral issues in dogs and can provide valuable insight and guidance in managing the situation.

A certified dog behaviorist will typically conduct a thorough assessment of both dogs’ behaviors, triggers, and patterns to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation. This evaluation can help identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to the aggressive behavior of one dog and the submissive behavior of the other. With this information, the behaviorist can then develop a tailored training plan to address these specific challenges.

Beyond creating a training plan, a certified dog behaviorist can also offer ongoing support and guidance as you work through the process of training your dogs. They can provide valuable feedback, adjustments to the training plan as needed, and assist in monitoring progress over time. Additionally, they may also offer resources for further education, such as recommended reading materials or workshops, to help you continue learning about canine behavior and training techniques.

Addressing and Managing Any Underlying Health or Psychological Issues in the Aggressive Dog

In conclusion, training a submissive dog to handle an aggressive dog can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding process. By understanding the behaviors of both dogs and establishing a firm leadership role as the owner/trainer, it is possible to create a safe and harmonious environment for both pets. Implementing positive reinforcement techniques and building confidence in the submissive dog are essential steps in this process.

Creating a controlled environment for interaction between the dogs, along with utilizing desensitization and counter-conditioning methods, can also help in modifying their behavior. Seeking professional help from a certified dog behaviorist is highly recommended, especially when dealing with underlying health or psychological issues in the aggressive dog. This step is crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of both animals.

Ultimately, patience, consistency, and dedication are key when training dogs with these behavioral issues. With the right approach and proper intervention, it is possible to help both dogs coexist peacefully and ensure a happy and healthy home environment for everyone involved. Remember to always prioritize the safety and welfare of the dogs throughout the training process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Dog Aggressive to Submissive Dogs?

Aggression in dogs towards submissive ones can be due to a variety of reasons such as fear, insecurity, or past experiences. The aggressive behavior may be a way for the dominant dog to assert their position and control over the submissive one.

It’s important to address this behavior through training and socialization to help both dogs feel more comfortable and secure around each other.

How Do You Discipline a Submissive Dog?

When disciplining a submissive dog, it’s crucial to use positive reinforcement rather than punishment. This means rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, and affection. Encouraging confidence in the dog through training, socialization, and consistent routines can also help them become less submissive over time.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Being Submissive?

To stop a dog from being overly submissive, it’s essential to build their confidence through positive training methods and activities that allow them to feel successful. Providing a structured routine, regular exercise, and clear leadership can also help the dog become more self-assured and less likely to display extreme submissive behaviors.

Patience and consistency are key when working with a submissive dog.



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