If you have a Boston Terrier, you likely know all about the tendency for the breed to be aggressive toward other dogs. This is a common concern for Boston Terrier owners, but it’s not something that can’t be helped. Below is the information you need to help you with a Boston Terrier aggressive to other dogs.
About Boston Terriers’ Aggressive Behavior
Terriers are aggressive by nature. The Boston is simply the type of terrier – the American gentleman.
Many people choose Boston Terriers because they are small and cute, unbeknownst to them they are an aggressive dog breed.
The breed doesn’t think of it as small and cute, though. Most Boston Terriers are aggressive dogs. Their aggression comes from thinking they are bigger than they are, which makes them believe they can push other dogs around.
A Boston Terrier’s temperament is a bit more active than many people assume. Most of them love to bark, especially at anything that threatens to poach their territory.
For Boston owners struggling with their Boston Terrier’s aggressive behavior, your small dog just needs some coaching.
The Root of a Boston’s Aggression
Dog aggression is both instinctual and behavioral. Terriers have a high prey drive because of their small size. They are highly intelligent, fast, and determined. While this is all great in certain situations, it doesn’t help in other situations, such as at the dog park, when the Boston Terrier temperament can lead to anxiety for all involved.
Since the Boston Terrier temperament roots in its instincts to capture prey for dinner and that’s no longer needed, behavioral modification can help. This is especially true if your aggressive Boston Terrier has learned it’s okay to attack every animal in sight – even bigger dogs.
What to Do When Boston Terrier Aggressive to Other Dogs
Leash-reactive dogs make going for a walk difficult and anxiety-provoking. The barking and lunging alarm other dogs and owners. It’s what ignites dog fights and dog owner injuries. That’s why it’s important to work with an aggressive dog in reducing its instinctual and behavioral responses.
Use a Professional Trainer
Dog training takes patience, determination, and a stern attitude. A professional dog trainer can work with your dog to encourage good behavior in a wide range of settings, including when other dogs and small animals are around.
The reason many pet parents decide to invest in professional dog training is that it’s easier. While a family will still have to work with their dog outside of training time, the foundation is set for a dog to be successful in changing its behaviors.
DIY Dog Training
There are many resources online to help people dealing with dog aggression. Most of the techniques have to do with exposing your pup to the stimuli that cause the undesirable behavior. When exposed, the dog owner gives a command such as “sit”. When the dog obeys, he/she gets praise and/or treats. Repeating this is what conditions a dog to stop reacting aggressively every time there’s another dog or small animal.
Always Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is the most effective way to train dogs (and humans). Punishment often makes the situation worse. Negative reinforcement can be too difficult to understand, making it ineffective.
As you’re training your Boston Terrier to not be aggressive towards other dogs, praise and reward good behavior. Ignore the bad behavior.
How to Tackle Aggressiveness in Boston Terriers Early
If you have or want a Boston Terrier puppy, you can make life easier later by tackling the aggression early.
Provide Proper Socialization
While dogs are born with a prey drive, they don’t always know what to do with it. At an early age, take your pup to the dog park and other places where there are other dog breeds and new people to meet. If you already have older dogs in your home, you don’t have to work so hard to expose your new dog to others.
Exposure is the most important part of keeping aggression from becoming a problem. The more exposure your dog has and coaching to not bark or jump on top of them, the less like you’ll have a Boston Terrier aggressive to other dogs later in life.
Other Considerations for a Boston Terrier Aggressive to Other Dogs
- Check with the vet. It’s always a good idea to check in with your vet because aggression can be a symptom of a medical condition. If the aggression is worse, call your vet to ask questions or book an appointment to check for health problems.
- Do your research. Dog owners who decide to get their Boston Terrier from a breeder should do their research to find a reputable breeder. The first few weeks in a pup’s life are crucial in behavior development. A breeder can help keep the aggression at a tolerable level by making sure the parents aren’t exhibiting aggressive behavior towards other dogs.
- Identify the cause of the aggression. Knowing what is causing your Boston Terriers’ aggressive behavior can make training easier. For example, if you know your pup has separation anxiety, you can work on that anxiety vs. trying to resolve some other cause of aggression such as protecting territory.
- CBD for dogs can help with training. It has a calming effect and is completely safe and effective. In addition to helping dogs remain calm during stressful situations, it can also reduce dog barking, destructive behavior, and more. Learn more about how CBD helps with dog aggression to decide if it’s right for you and your pup.
It’s difficult to deal with a Boston Terrier that is aggressive to other dogs, but it’s nothing you can’t resolve. Use the information above to help your pup understand aggression isn’t tolerable. Determination and patience will prove to be worth it when you can finally take a peaceful walk with your pup.