In a study of 223 cases of dog aggression from a clinic in Brisbane, Australia, it was found that 87 (39%) of the cases were classified as severe.
The most common types of aggression reported were dominance aggression, followed by territorial aggression, and predatory aggression.
These findings suggest that bad behaviors in dogs is a serious problem that requires prompt and effective intervention.
And that’s where we come in. In this article, we’ll explore aggressive behavior in dogs and provide 5 tips to help stop it.
What is Dog Aggression?
Dog aggression is a serious issue that many owners are unaware of. It can be defined as any threatening or violent behavior directed towards another dog or person.
While some aggression is normal and may even be beneficial in certain situations, such as protecting territory or defending against predators, it can also be a sign of underlying problems such as anxiety, fear, or illness.
If not properly addressed, dog aggression can lead to serious injuries or even death.
There are several different types of aggression that can be displayed by dogs, each with its own set of causes and triggers.
The most common types of aggression include:
- Dominance aggression: This is characterized by a dog asserting its dominance over others through aggressive behaviors such as growling, snapping, orbiting.
- Territorial aggression: This type of aggression is often seen in dogs who are protecting their home, yard, or food from intruders.
- Possessive aggression: Dogs who are possessive of their toys, food, or other objects may become aggressive if they feel like someone is trying to take them away.
- Predatory aggression: This is a natural type of aggression that is often seen in hunting dogs who are trying to catch prey.
- Social aggression: This is aggression that is directed towards other dogs in the pack or family. It can be caused by a number of factors, including jealousy, Competition for resources, or even boredom.
- Fear aggression: This is the most dangerous type of aggression and is often seen in dogs who are afraid of people or other animals.
- Pain aggression: Dogs in pain may lash out aggressively in order to protect themselves from further injury.
What are the Signs of Aggression in Dogs?
There are several different signs that may indicate a dog is becoming aggressive. These can include:
- Growling, barking, or snarling
- Showing teeth
- Lunging or biting
- Ears pulled back
- Body stiffening
- Hackles raised
- Tail held high or wagging aggressively
- Baring of the gums
How To Stop Aggressive Dog Behavior
In many cases, aggression can be managed through training and behavior modification. However, these solutions require time, patience, and consistency.
There is no overnight fix for aggression; it’s a process that takes time, effort, and commitment. But by understanding the issue and working with a qualified trainer or behaviorist, you can help your dog learn to control their aggression.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Find out what’s causing the aggression.
One of the most important things to do if you want to stop your dog’s aggressive behavior is to figure out what is causing it.
There are many different factors that can contribute to aggression, so it’s important to take a close look at your dog’s history, diet, and environment.
Once you have a better understanding of what is triggering your dog’s aggression, you can begin to take steps to address the problem.
For example, if your dog is acting aggressively because he is anxious or fearful around other people, you may need to provide more training and socialization.
If your dog is displaying aggression due to pain or illness, you will need to work with your veterinarian to find a treatment plan that works for both of you.
- Try your best to remove the trigger.
If you can identify what is causing your dog’s aggression, one of the best things you can do is to try to remove the trigger from their environment.
For example, if your dog is afraid of loud noises, you can help them feel more comfortable by moving them to a quiet room during storms or fireworks.
If your dog is aggressive towards people, try to avoid situations that trigger their aggression, such as crowds.
This doesn’t mean you have to keep your dog locked away from the world; it just means being mindful of their triggers and avoiding them when possible at least until you have a chance to work on the problem.
- Don’t punish your dog for being aggressive
Punishing your dog for aggression will only make the problem worse. Not only will it increase your dog’s anxiety and fear, but it will also make them more likely to lash out in aggression.
Instead of punishment, focus on positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior and ignoring or redirecting their attention when they display aggression.
For example, if your dog calmly greets a visitor instead of barking and lunging, give them a treat or toy. Additionally, it’s important to avoid situations that trigger aggression in your dog.
If you know that your dog gets anxious around other animals, try to keep them away from crowds or areas where they are likely to encounter other dogs.
Over time, your dog will learn that he gets rewards for being calm and friendly, and the aggression will start to dissipate.
- Consider medication
In some cases, this aggression can be controlled through training and socialization, but in other cases, medication may be necessary.
While medication is not a cure-all, it can help to reduce the overall level of aggression in a dog, making it easier to train them and keep them under control.
In addition, medication can help to prevent aggression from escalating into violence. If you think that your dog may benefit from medication, it is important to consult with a qualified veterinarian or animal behaviorist.
They will be able to assess your dog’s individual needs and determine whether medication is the right course of action.
- Seek professional help
If you’re struggling to stop your dog’s aggression on your own, it’s important to seek professional help.
There are many qualified trainers and behaviorists who can work with you to create a training and socialization plan that is tailored to your dog’s needs.
But how do you find a qualified professional?
The best way to find a good trainer or behaviorist is to get recommendations from friends or family members who have used their services. You can also ask your veterinarian for recommendations or look for online reviews.
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential candidates, be sure to interview each one to get a sense of their experience and qualifications.
With the help of a professional, you can learn how to effectively address your dog’s aggression and create a safe and happy environment for both you and your pet.
Aggressive behavior in dogs can be difficult to manage, but it’s important not to give up. There are many different things you can do to help curb your dog’s aggression before they become dangerous or unruly.
One way is by taking a close look at what might have caused the aggressive behavior and then removing that trigger from their environment as much as possible.
Additionally, you can try to reward your dog for good behavior instead of punishing them for aggression.
Finally, if necessary, you may want to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist to help you create a more customized plan for dealing with your dog’s aggression.
With patience and persistence, you can help your dog to overcome its aggressive tendencies and live a happy and safe life.