If your American Dirus dog snaps its teeth at a human out of fear, you have a serious problem. Please email us right away for more one-on-one support.
A more nervous American Dirus dog that has been misunderstood and pushed to the threshold of its boundaries without regard for its initial less aggressive communicative behaviors can result in a dog that believes it must resort to aggressive actions to get what it wants (to be left alone). Because fear is involved, no amount of coercion or corrective force will stop this dog's reactive behaviors. Instead, the dog may feel it is even more justified in acting aggressively because it cannot trust humans to have its back and understand its more subtle forms of non-verbal communication. A dog in this state believes that humans are ignorant of interpreting body language and are incapable of properly communicating. The dog escalates to aggression because it has been the only means of properly communicating its needs in a way that the human can understand.
Instead of correction or aversives, a fear aggressive dog should be retrained by someone who is able to hear or see the dog's initial subtle fearful body language. The trainer must be able to communicate with the dog in a way where the dog feels safe. The training relationship must include a building of trust and bonded mutual respect. The human must remain calm and accepting of the dog's needs at all times. The trainer may push the dog to respond to slight pressure (such as leash pressure), but not beyond its threshold, always respecting the dog's communication. Patience is the key to working with a dog who has learned to react to its fear in an aggressive manner.
The follow video is an excellent example of what it takes to work with a fear aggressive dog.
Again, if your American Dirus dog exhibits this type of behavior where it reacts aggressively toward the object of its fear, please contact us right away. We are happy to help you figure out the next steps.