Inter-Dog Territorial Aggression


Facts Concerning Territorial Aggression and Dogs

  • Territorial behavior begins when a dog is young and “amplified” by learning.
  • Dominance-based territorial aggression is easier to manage than fear-based territorial aggression.
  • Both forms of territorial aggression may be controlled reasonably well by taking appropriate managemental measures.
  • Treatment for Dogs with Territorial Aggression

    The treatment program includes general management adjustments (plenty of aerobic exercise, a low protein diet, regular obedience training, use of a head halter for control, appropriate application of muzzles) plus specific behavior modification techniques (Nothing in Life is Free, Counterconditioning, Systematic Desensitization).

    Owners of territorially aggressive dogs should keep doors secured to ensure that no dog can enter the property without warning. Territorial dogs should never be left outside unsupervised and unrestrained.

    Electronic fences pose a particular problem for dogs with territorial aggression. The dog knows where HIS territorial boundaries are but other dogs do not, and may unwittingly cross the boundary. In general, territorial dogs are more aggressive when they are behind a fence of any kind – because a fence allows them to know exactly where the boundary of their territory lies. They will thus patrol and protect what is now well-defined turf. It best to install a solid fence. Solid fences insure that no passing dogs fall foul of territorial zealots and provide owners peace of mind … and freedom from lawsuits.


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