Aggressive Dogs: Ways to Prevent This Behavior

Dogs that display aggressive behavior may growl, snap or even bite on a frequent basis. One of the most common reasons a dog owner will employ a dog trainer is because of aggressive tendencies shown by their dog. It’s not only bigger or the “dangerous breeds” that this can be an issue with. All breeds of any shape and size can turn violent in certain situations.

Unfortunately, changing the behavior of an aggressive dog doesn’t happen in a single day. It takes time and training, but as a dog‘s owner, you can take a number of actions to minimize aggressive behavior to keep your dog calm. It would also help to get highly skilled and trained dogs that are well socialized, assertive but not aggressive, and attentive to every movement of the owner such as Doberman Protection Dogs for sale.

Even if you do everything within your power to avoid the possibility of your dog biting you or someone else, it can occur when you are not expecting it. After ensuring the safety of everyone and securing your animal, think about what needs to be done to protect yourself legally. For those living in the Northeast, a dog bite lawyer in Ewing, New Jersey could make your life much easier.

Reasons Why Dogs Are Aggressive

Any conduct associated with a dog attack is referred to as aggressive behavior. Examples of this could be showing teeth, growling, lunging, biting or snapping.

To prevent this type of behavior, you must first determine what is setting off your dog and making them hostile. An example of this could be when someone moves near a dog while they’re eating or if they are playing with a bone and they begin to growl. Another example would be for a dog to become hostile when children or people they don’t know are around.

Keep in mind that aggression isn’t necessarily aimed toward a specific person or people in general. Instead, some dogs react aggressively toward other dogs, a specific animal (like a cat, but not toward dogs), or some random object like a skateboard.

The important thing to remember is that you can’t formulate a strategy to change your dog’s behavior unless you understand why it’s happening. The following are the most typical kinds of dog aggression:

  • Territorial aggression occurs when a dog protects its territory (your family’s home, for example) from an invader.
  • Protective aggression occurs when a dog defends its family (or pack mates) from a stranger, a person it views as a threat or another animal. A female dog is also protective of their pups and may become aggressive or even attack if anybody approaches them.
  • Possessive aggression occurs when a dog is defending it’s food or toys. It may also be another item it considers important to them. This is also referred to as “resource guarding.”
  • Fear aggression occurs when a dog is afraid and attempts to flee from scary circumstances. They could also bite when they are trapped.
  • Defensive aggression may be comparable to fear aggression in that the dog attacks in self-defense rather than attempting to flee first. In this type of aggression, the dog has usually already shown subtle signs that they do not wish to be disturbed.
  • Social aggression is when a dog responds violently toward another dog or dogs in a social environment. This generally happens when a dog has not been socialized with dogs or people outside their immediate family. 
  • Frustration-induced aggression is when the dog is restrained on a leash or inside a yard that is fenced off and acts viciously. Sometimes a dog can get excited and if they are unable to respond to that stimulus, they get aggressive. Other times, they could nip at their owner when they are extremely eager before an activity like a walk.
  • Redirected aggression is when a dog turns hostile toward another target. For example, if someone is trying to pull apart two dogs who are in a fight and is bitten. This could also be when a dog is unable to confront another dog behind a fence and attacks you or someone else instead.
  • Aggression due to pain is when a dog attacks when it is hurt or in pain.
  • S*x-related aggressiveness occurs when two dogs of the same sex are competing for a mate’s attention. This is usually prevented by spaying and neutering your dog.
  • Predatory aggression is when your dog chases other animals and acts viciously without warning. When a kid is playing with a dog and has them chase them, it can become dangerous. Though it may seem harmless at first, a dog’s predatory instincts could kick in and they could potentially attack a child.

Signs to Look For That Show Possible Aggression

Aggressive behavior may be spotted by any dog, and it’s necessary to keep note of the signals to be aware, including:

  • Growling
  • Stiff body and rapid tail wagging
  • Yawning or licking their lips
  • Averting the eyes
  • Tucking of the tail or cowering
  • Observing the whites of their eyes

Be mindful that just because a dog shows one or more of these signals, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are violent. Instead, it might simply indicate worry or fear.

Prevent Aggression

Keep track of when your dog gets aggressive or violent and the conditions that lead up to it. How it happened will be significant in how you select your future course of action. The critical thing to address is the root source of the hostile behavior. The actual act of aggression is only a symptom of a deeper issue.

There are various things you can do to assist your dog in staying calm and reduce their aggressive behavior. It requires time and dedication, as well as a trainer, if needed.

Consult With a Veterinarian

If your dog wasn’t aggressive but suddenly became violent, it might indicate they are suffering from an underlying medical condition. Aggression can be triggered by a number of ailments, from severe injuries, neurological conditions or even a brain tumor.

Consult with your veterinarian to schedule a checkup for your dog to see if a medical condition is attributing to your dog’s behavior. If so, it can likely be treated.

Hire a Professional Trainer

You can reach out to a dog trainer to address the aggression if your vet has determined that there is no medical issue that your dog is suffering from. This is the best action you can take, as treating aggressiveness is a severe issue that requires professional help. They can assist you in determining what is causing your dog’s aggressiveness and developing a strategy to address it.

Do Not Punish Your Dog

If you punish the dog for being aggressive, it will almost always backfire and make the situation worse. By striking your dog or shouting at them for growling, they might possibly bite you to protect themselves.

A dog might attempt to bite someone without even as much as a warning, due to them being punished. A dog that growls at kids, for example, is telling you that he is not comfortable with their presence. So, if you yell at the dog for this, the next time he might just bite instead of growling to alert you.

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