Bilco is an adult male dog who lives in a loving home. He was always friendly and playful with humans but when he turned two, he began exhibiting aggressive behaviour towards other dogs when out on his walks. This negative behaviour was also displayed when dogs came to visit the family home. Bilco would often bark, growl and try to fight the other dogs.
Bilco likely exhibited this behaviour because he was a victim of bullying when he was a puppy. He felt intimidated by other dogs, particularly when they seemingly invaded his territory.
Following advice from a pet behaviourist, the family moved Bilco’s bed to a quiet room, away from the hub of the family activity and made sure that visiting dogs were not allowed in this area. This meant that he had somewhere to retreat to when dogs came to visit. Furthermore, the family focused their attention on Bilco when other dogs were in the room so that they were not seen as competition. The family rewarded any positive interaction with other dogs with attention and treats.
By giving Bilco his own room and using positive reinforcement when he behaved well, Bilco became a lot calmer and patient around visiting dogs and eventually dogs he met when walking. His aggressive behaviour subsided and he learned how to socially and comfortably interact with other dogs.