What Is Aggression?
Aggression is one of the most common behavioral complaints that dog owners have. Aggression is defined as any type of behavior that is violent or hostile with readiness to confront or attack. Growling, snarling, nipping, snapping, biting, lunging at a person and becoming very rigid and still are some of the common signs of aggression.
There are a number of things that can be done to manage aggressive dog behavior. However, in order to deal with this problem, one must understand that there are several things that can cause a dog to become aggressive.
The Source Of Aggressive Behavior In Dogs
Dogs often become aggressive when they are ill. Thyroid disease, rabies and brain tumors are some of the many illnesses that can cause a dog to become aggressive. If your dog is suddenly showing signs of aggression, then he or she should be checked out by a veterinarian.
Fear is another common cause of aggressive dog behavior. In most cases, the dog will only exhibit this aggression when he or she feels threatened. A fearful dog may attack when he or she is backed into a corner. Dogs that are fearful may also attack when they are petted if they have been abused in the past. The dog may think that he or she is going to get hit.
Possession aggression occurs when the dog gets possessive of toys, food or another object. A dog who growls at someone who comes near his or her food bowl is example of possession aggression. A dog may also become aggressive if someone tries to take away his or her toy. Additionally, some dogs are very possessive of their owners. They may attack a stranger who is trying to get next to owner.
Dogs also show their aggression to establish dominance. They feel like they need to be in charge. Dogs will show their aggression if they feel like their dominance is being challenged.
Frustrated aggression is also known as barrier or re-directed aggression. Dogs often get frustrated when they cannot have something. A dog who is tied up in the backyard all day and sees another dog may get frustrated because he or she cannot get to the other dog. As a result of this, the dog may bark and growl all day. Additionally, studies have shown that dogs who spend a lot of time tied up or on a leash are more likely to be aggressive.
Other Causes Of Aggressive Dog Behavior
In many cases, the way an owner interacts with the dog can cause aggression. Many people discipline their dogs by yelling at them or hitting them. This is not effective, and it has been shown to increase aggressive behavior. Dogs may also become aggressive if their owner is doing something that they do not like. For example, dogs that do not like baths may become aggressive every time that their owner tries to give them a bath.
Stopping And Controlling Aggressive Behavior In Dogs
Take Your Dog To The Veterinarian
Again, if your dog is suddenly aggressive, then it is a good idea to take him or her to the veterinarian. This will ensure that your dog’s behavioral problems are not caused by a serious illness. Training will not do much good if your dog needs to get treated for a serious illness. The vet may also recommend a medication that can help manage the dog’s aggression.
Determine The Cause Of The Aggression
It will be much easier for you to correct an aggression problem if you know the cause of it. You should try your best to avoid situations that trigger aggressive behavior. For example, if you know that your dog gets aggressive when someone goes near his or her food bowl, then you should consider feeding him or her in the crate. If your dog gets aggressive when someone goes near his or her toys, then you should take certain toys away from him or her. Additionally, if your dog is aggressive when he or she approaches another dog or strangers, then you may want to limit his or her exercise to the backyard.
Consider Hiring A Dog Trainer
Many people find it impossible for them to manage their dog’s behavior without professional help. That is why you may want to consider hiring a trainer for your dog. A trainer can teach your dog positive, consistent behaviors. He or she can also create a plan for you to manage your dog’s behavior.
Reward Your Dog For Good Behavior
Dogs respond better to being rewarded for good behavior. Every time that your dog is able to resist the urge to attack and calm down, you should give him or her a treat. This shows your dog that being calm is a good thing.
Be Positive And Consistent
It is important to remember that aggression is not a problem that can be correct overnight. It may take several months for your dog’s aggressive behavior to stop completely. You have to be consistent with your dog. You may get frustrated at times, but you should not punish your dog for aggressive behavior. In many cases, this plan backfires because the dog becomes more aggressive. You will have to be patient and stick to the plan that your trainer gives you.
Preventing Aggressive Behavior
Studies have shown that dogs that are poorly socialized are more likely to become aggressive. Researchers have also found that a puppy’s experiences during the first three months of life determines the type of companion that he or she will be. A puppy’s early experiences will also determine the way he or she reacts to the older. Therefore, early socialization is one of the most important things that can be done to deter aggressive dog behavior.
You should expose your puppy to various types of people, animals and situations. You should take your puppy to different places, such as the park and the veterinarian’s office. You should also expose your puppy to different types of noises.