The following article is provided by West Tennessee K9 – Dog Training in Greater Memphis.
One of the biggest problems we see are dogs that lose their mind when they see other dogs and people. This behavior is often labeled as aggression. In reality, in a large number of cases, it’s simply lack of confidence.
This is how it works… Dogs react to things they don’t understand. Things that are different than their norm. When a dog sees these things, they use the only communication tool that they have. Their mouth! Their bark is a warning, and it means GO AWAY! The bark is usually followed by lunging and charging.
What is the number one cause of reactivity? Lack of confidence and exposure. The more things you can routinely get your dogs around, especially at a young age, the less likely they are to develop reactivity problems. In addition, when you do begin to see reactivity, correct the behavior. Remember a correction is simply associating a negative with the unwanted behavior.