"Biting" is one of the top ten reasons that dogs are put into animal shelters.
Oftentimes, though, proper training is all that is needed to prevent a dog from becoming aggressive.
Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
Exercise is important for every dog, and a lot of dog problems can be alleviated by long walks and aerobic runs.
A dog who tends to dominance aggression especially needs plenty of exercise.
You can avoid dominance problems if you get your puppy socialized in lot of different situations.
You'll want to walk him in the city and in the woods, among people, and around other dogs.
If he threatens or shies away from people or other dogs, you will need to socialize him step by step, praising every success and practicing until he is no longer tempted to misbehave.
In extreme cases, you may want to contact an expert dog trainer to help you.
Find ways to keep your dog's mind active as well.
A bored dog is a dog looking for trouble.
Training is a good way to keep him occupied when you're at home.
Dominant dogs tend to be intelligent and resourceful.
They find practicing commands and tricks enjoyable and stimulating.
In your absence, you may want to leave puzzle-type toys, available at pet stores, where the dog has to figure out how to get a treat out of the toy.
React appropriately to your dog's specific behaviors.
If there are situations where the dog shows aggression, work out the issue in a way that works toward your goal.
For example, a dog sees a direct stare as a challenge, and the human gains nothing by getting into a staring match with him.
If you've got a dog who is aggressively guarding his food, it's a good idea to keep outsiders and children away from the food bowl while the dog is eating.
The owner, however, can gradually teach the dog that his food isn't being threatened.
Add treats to the bowl while the dog is eating.
It's important to understand your dog's body language before taking this sort of action, and it's better to call in an expert than to get bitten.
Call on help if you need it.
Professional dog trainers are a great resource.
You can get a sense of your options from online dog training courses.
They are far less expensive than a personal visit with a trainer, and their tips may be enough to solve your problem.
Online training resources include ebooks, audio, videos, and e-courses, which are delivered by email.
Some trainers are also willing to do consultations about particularly difficult problems, and they won't hesitate to suggest an in-person consultation if they think that is necessary.
It's true that the younger the dog is, the easier it is to break the dominance habit.
It's also true that a dog is really never too old to adapt to a new situation.
With an understanding of why the dog behaves the way he does, it becomes easier to change that behavior.
It's not too late.