People love it when their dog behaves around other people. However, it is not the same if people are scared of your dog’s behavior. Dog aggression is a big problem. There are many factors that contribute to it, but all too often, people are left without answers for how to handle the situation. This blog will give you practical tips on handling aggressive dogs.
Before we learn how to handle aggressive dogs, we must examine why dogs get aggressive.
Aggression in dogs can be caused by a desire to protect territory, resources, or a family member, as well as by fear, frustration, prey drive, or pain. In these situations, a dog may be pushed too far and quickly transition from reactive, fearful, or guarding behaviors to aggressive behavior.
There are countless types of aggression; however, the most common ones are Fear-Motivated Aggression, Territorial Aggression, and Redirected Aggression.
So, how do you handle aggressive dogs?
Have you ever heard the passive-aggressive break-up line, “It’s not you, it’s me”? When it comes to your dog, maybe it’s not him but you. Perhaps he needs more exercise, more love, more socialization, or more mental stimulation. “A lot of people assume that a dog is either naturally aggressive or not,” says Cesar Milan, everyone’s favorite dog whisperer. Aggression is a symptom rather than a cause. If your dog is aggressive, it tells you something else is missing. By paying attention to the behavior, we can understand what our dog is telling us and solve the problem. Assessing a dog’s current behavior is the first step to recovery.
This is not only good for the health of your dog. It can decrease the dog’s drive to roam and compete for the affection of the opposite sex. Dogs that have not been spayed or neutered are often more territorial, aggressive, and protective. It is critical to understand that a dog who is afraid, stressed, or anxious is incapable of learning new things.
Also, Consider medication to be a tool for assisting your dog in overcoming this fear. Many dogs will only require medication for a short period. Discuss your options with your veterinarian.
I have one word for you if you have a puppy or remember your dog when he was a puppy: energy. People believe puppies have a lot of energy (and they do! ), but most adult dogs do. Dogs have a lot of energy to burn off, so they must get enough exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Dogs who get plenty of exercises are less likely to become frustrated and lash out.
Increased activity can be accomplished in a variety of ways. If you have a yard, your dog can run freely and be let out for a few hours during the day. You can encourage your pet to play and burn off energy outside by purchasing new toys or designing your yard for their entertainment. Make sure you have a water feature and/or some shady areas for your dog to cool off and relax after playtimes, such as a porch ceiling or large trees.
Another important factor in pet aggression is a lack of socialization, manifested as isolation. When you consider their ancestors, the wolves, it’s easy to see why dogs are social creatures. They are hardwired to interact in groups. Social structures are significant for their mental health. When dogs spend most of their time alone or only with humans, they may become scared or overly excited by the presence of other dogs. They often fight because they are afraid for their safety, trying to maintain dominance in a herd, or trying to protect their space or belonging.
All of these and other potential causes of aggression can be alleviated by socializing your dog with other puppies. If your dog is exposed to other dogs regularly, they will learn how to interact with new puppies without feeling threatened or possessive.
Socialization has a simple solution as well. Introduce your dog to other dogs in a safe and enjoyable manner.
Refrain from punishment
In fact, punishment frequently worsens the situation. Punishing, hitting, or raising your voice if your dog is fearful will only make them more fearful and aggressive. Punishing her if she is dominantly aggressive will only encourage her to be more dominant and overpower you as the leader. Positive punishment is sometimes thought to be the only thing that will work on an aggressive dog. Unfortunately, using an aversive technique may cause the dog to become more aggressive. Fear and anxiety are frequently the root causes of aggression, and using positive punishment does nothing to alleviate the fear. Being the leader or being “in control” does not imply harshness or punishment, but rather that the dog’s behavior is appropriate and will remain so. This is accomplished through incentive-based training, physical control devices, and supervision.
Talk to your vet
Some aggressive dogs act a certain way due to medical conditions or complications. Dogs with orthopedic problems, thyroid abnormalities, adrenal dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, seizure disorders, and sensory deficits, in addition to acute painful conditions, can exhibit changes in irritability and aggression. Geriatric dogs may experience confusion and insecurity, leading to aggressive behavior. Certain medications can alter your dog’s mood and make him more prone to attack. Diet has also been mentioned as a possible contributing factor. If your dog is aggressive, you must first take her to a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that may be causing or exacerbating her behavior. If the veterinarian discovers a medical problem, you will have to work closely with them to give your dog the best chance of improving.
Work with a Professional Behavior Expert
Aggression is potentially dangerous behavior. It can be challenging to diagnose and treat. Many behavior modification techniques can be harmful if misused. Even highly experienced professionals are occasionally bitten, so living with and treating an aggressive dog is inherently dangerous. A qualified professional can create a treatment plan tailored to your dog’s temperament and your family’s specific circumstances, and she can guide you through its implementation. She can keep track of your dog’s progress and make changes to the plan as needed.
Dogs have been described as the most devoted creatures on the planet. As a result, their protective behavior is to be expected. If you have a dog, you’ve probably witnessed a variety of protective behaviors from your canine companions. This behavior can be more than irritating for the owner at times. If left unchecked, defensive behavior can lead to the destruction of furniture and other sentimental items. Follow the instructions above to have a fun and safe time with your pet.