Aggressive Dog Behavior is a very serious problem; it so serious it could see you being sued or being forced to euthanize your beloved friend – your dog. Legal action and civil suits against dog owners are escalating each year. As a dog owner you have a responsibility to your community to make sure your dog never poses a threat to other animals, children and adults that may come into contact with your dog.
It has nothing to do with the size or breed of your dog – even a small dog can easily scare, injure and even scar a child. Larger dogs do have the ability to kill humans especially when attacking with other aggressive dogs.
There are many people who have lost everything they owned because of their dog’s aggression and found themselves heavily in debt because of expensive legal, court and settlement/compensation fees. Some dog owners have even served time in prison because their dog attacked and injured someone.
Do I have your attention now? There are many signs of rising aggression in dogs but the question is frequently asked – how do I stop aggressive dog behavior?
To stop aggressive behavior in your dog it make sense to be aware of the types and first signs of aggression. This will allow you as the dog owner to know with out doubt when your dog is becoming unsettled and ensures you can intervene before things get out of hand.
The types of Dog Aggression.
There are 4 main types of dog aggression, they are:
Next we discover how to stop aggressive canine behavior.
- Check with your veterinarian for health problems.
- De-sexing your dog.
- Start specialized dog training.
- Re-train yourself – dominance method.
- Professional assistance.
Dominance aggression is one of the more common reasons for dogs jumping and blocking your path. Other more confident male dogs will attempt mounting younger members of the family is a clear indicator of your dog trying to establish dominance.
Dogs are essentially pack animals so it makes sense that they will try to establish themselves as the alpha dog in the group. Dogs consider the family members to be members of the pack.
Some herding breeds of dogs may even try to establish dominance over small children by “herding them”. Herding tactics can involve the dog pushing young children in the direction the dog wants them to go, small nips to the children’s ankles, growling and trying to keep them within a certain area.
As a dog owner it is important when you see these types of aggressive dog behaviors that you establish yourself as the alpha dog in your dogs pack – his family. When you are respected by your dog as the ‘alpha dog’ you can easily take control of your dogs aggressive behavior.
Fear is another reason why dogs can be become aggressive. A dog which experiencing a fearful response will first put its tail between its legs then pull its ears back, sometimes look away, or possibly step away or even run. If a dog feels threatened or cornered, they might lash out with growling, snarling, and even nipping and biting.
Territorial or possessive aggression in dogs is a very common type of dog aggression. Dogs often have a sense of territory and possession or even over their owners, and most dogs do not like to share. Overly loyal dogs will become aggressive if they feel their territory is being breached or that family members are in danger. Your dog may display many different aggressive behaviors.
It is important to discourage this type of behavior by taking precautions and avoiding these potentially volatile situations. For instance, if your dog is aggressive only when he or she eats, then you need to keep people away from the food bowl during feeding times. You also need to establish that you are the boss over their food.
Redirected aggression in dogs is one of the most unpredictable types of dog aggression. It is also considered the most misunderstood type of aggressive dog behavior. Redirected aggression happens when your dog cannot aggressively act on the actual object causing the fear, anger, or territorial thoughts.
For example, if you have two dogs in your backyard and a person they see as a threat or intruder enters the house, the two dogs may turn on and attack one another. Most dog owners do not understand the displaced aggression in their dog, because they do not know what started the aggressive behavior in the first place.
How to Stop Aggressive Dog Behavior.
Check with your veterinarian.
It is really important that you see your vet and request a full examination for your dog. This will inform you if there is an underlying medical condition that may be causing the aggression.
Medical conditions and illnesses like brain or body tumors, low blood sugar and liver disease have been associated with aggressive canine behaviors. Especially so if your dog develops an aggressive behavior at maturity that was not previously seen.
De-sexing your dog.
This option may seem severe but it can make a huge difference to a dogs aggressive tendencies. If considering this option, it is preferably done before he/she is six months old.
Unaltered dogs have a greater risk of exhibiting aggressive behavior. Dogs know when there is a female dog in heat nearby, and their desire to reproduce can trigger them to start fighting with you or other dogs.
Start specialized dog training.
After an illness has been eliminated, its time to start a dog training for aggressive dogs. Make sure you inform the person running the training that your dog has some issues with aggression. There are a number of good dog training courses that operate in small groups to lessen the likelihood of dominance or fear aggression.
Re-train yourself – dominance method.
Building a dominance relationship with your dog can really help. If you are the “top dog” or “alpha dog” in the relationship, your dog will secure and safe. He won’t have the desire to protect the marked territory from visitors or other dogs.
There is no shame in admitting that need help to help train your dog away from aggressive behaviors. Professional assistance for overly aggressive dogs may be needed before their behavior gets out of control and someone is hurt.
It is vitally important that you do not ignore aggressive dog behavior. These types of problems will not resolve themselves and if you’re smart, you do not want to deal with the consequences. The best news is that most every angry canine can be re-educated and trained.
We hope that this article was helpful to help you identify the types of dog aggression and gave you some insights about how to manage aggressive dog behavior.