My Dog Bites and Snaps at Strangers, What Can I Do?

Playing Can an Old Dog Learn New Behaviors?

Does your dog snap or bite strangers? Veterinarian Dr. Arvid Edward joins The Doctors to help our producer Hope find a solution for her aggressive and anxious dog. 

Hope adopted her dog Nana from a rescue, but ever since she brought her home, Nana has been anxious. Hope says the dog has been great with her and her boyfriend, but problems arise when they take her out in public. Nana is afraid of other people and other dogs.

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"I'm starting to get worried becasue she's had 2 incidents where she's bitten 2 people," Hope explains, noting Nana is 8 years old and wonders if it is too late to change her behavior.

Dr. Arvid believes Nana's initial training could have been confrontational or aversive in nature and may have included verbal or even physical types of punishment. Dr. Arvid says the best training method for Nana would be positive reinforcement, which includes rewards for good behavior, verbal praise, and constant love.

Watch: Dog Frozen with Fear during Veterinarian Visit!

"The key is you have to be very consistent with it," Dr. Arvid tells Hope, suggesting when family, friends, and strangers encounter the dog that Hope should give her a treat and the strangers should give Nana words of praise and walk away. He says this will help Nana understand that all people are good people and not a threat. He says this process could take months before sees results.

To help Nana, Karma Dog training offers Hope 6 in-home aggression training sessions for Nana. Since the taping of the show, Hope tells The Doctors that Nana is doing "really well" and has had no further biting incidents.

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