Handling dog behavior issues is difficult, especially if you have an aggressive dog. The aggressive dog behavior may keep you constantly worried about finding a wrecked living room or worrying about your dog attacking someone, another pet, or a stranger and if your dog bites someone will it be put down or not?. Though it is a big issue handling canine aggression, this aggression can be corrected.
What is aggression?
The term “aggression” can be used to define a variety of behaviors occurring due to several reasons under various circumstances.
In most instances, all animals demonstrate aggressive behavior while guarding their territories or protecting their children and themselves.
Animals living in groups, like humans and dogs, use aggression to maintain peace and to negotiate social interactions.
Signs of aggressive behavior begins with warnings that can end in an attack. Dogs demonstrating aggressiveness towards people or other animals usually show some of the following intense behaviors:
- Freezing, suddenly becoming still and rigid
- Barks that sounds threatening
- Lunging forward or running towards a person
- Ears pinned back
- Baring teeth
- Muzzle Punch, punching someone with their nose
- Nips and Bites of different intensity
Many times owners of pets are not able to recognize the warning signs of aggressive dog behavior. They believe their dogs just flew off the handle suddenly. However, in reality, the dogs may have been giving signs long before attacking or biting someone. Dogs rarely bite or attack without giving any form of warning beforehand.
Why Do Dogs Demonstrate Aggressive Behavior?
Before learning how to stop the aggressive behavior of the dog, you need to understand the reason behind the dog’s aggression. Some dogs are known to growl when people approach them then they are eating.
Some react aggressively towards children or strangers. Some dogs act aggressively when they are around other animals or some specific animals like cats or other dogs.
It is difficult to bring a change in your dog’s behavior until you know the reason behind the aggression.
The most common types of dog aggression are:
- Territorial aggression: When the dog tries to defend his own space or the owners home it is territorial aggression. The dog behaves aggressively towards a person or animal that enters or approaches the dog’s space or owner’s house.
- Protective aggression: The dog protects its children or its owners from any other animal or person trying to cause harm.
- Possessive aggression: Dogs are possessive of their things like chew toys, bones, or food. They may get hostile against someone who is trying to take their possessions away.
- Fear aggression: When a dog is scared and tries to retreat but ends up attacking when cornered.
- Social aggression: Dogs may react aggressively to other dogs in certain social situations. Dogs that are not trained to socialize properly with other dogs or people may act aggressively.
- Frustration aggression: A dog may behave aggressively if it is restricted on a leash or in a closed room or fenced yard. If the dog is stimulated and is unable to act on that stimulation, it may become aggressive out of frustration.
- Redirected aggression: The dog might attack a person attempting to break up a dog fight. Sometimes a dog may attack any person nearby if it cannot reach the target of its hostility or if the person comes in its way.
- Pain-elicited aggression: When injured or in pain, the dog can get aggressive.
- Sex-related aggression: Male or female dogs may become aggressive while vying for the attention of their mate.
- Predatory aggression: Some dogs display classic canine predatory behaviors, including chasing and grabbing speeding things.
How to handle aggression in dogs?
Handling aggressive dogs is very complicated. There is no instant solution or easy way to turn your pet into a calm and well behaved canine.
By following the right approach and keeping a lot of patience you can learn to control the aggression in your dogs.
Prevention is the key to control aggression. You should try to nip the problem in the bud. Once you know the reason why the dog is disturbed, get rid of the problem and you will be able to avert any unwanted incident from happening.
In most cases, diligently training your pet since the time it arrives in the family is the best way to manage aggression.
Most of the aggressive dogs start displaying signs in the early days, if noticed on time they can be managed and controlled. These are some tips that can help prevent the development of aggressive behavior in your canines:
- Do not encourage any form of dominant behaviors
- Keep a look for any signs of resource guarding (possessive behavior)
- Train the dog to socialize and get comfortable around other pets and strangers
- Use constructive and positive reinforcement training
Visit a Veterinarian
Dogs that are not aggressive normally but suddenly develop aggressive behaviors may be suffering from some underlying medical problem.
Some health problems like hypothyroidism, painful injuries, neurological problems like encephalitis, epilepsy etc. can cause aggression in a dog.
An experienced veterinarian can help determine whether any underlying health issues are the reason for your dog’s sudden aggressive behavior.
Taking proper treatment can help bring great improvements to your dog’s aggressive behavior.
Seek Professional Help
If the Veterinarian rules out any medical issues with the dog, you need to seek professional help and call a professional dog trainer. Aggression is a serious behavior problem and one should not try to fix it on their own.
A professional trainer knows how to train dogs and control their aggression. They can help you find out the reason for your dog’s aggression and create a strategy to handle it.
Living with an aggressive dog is very difficult but it is a solvable issue. Even though the situation may look scary at times, aggression is a behavioral problem that can be controlled with proper training.
Beneath that growling dog might be a scared, nervous and poorly socialized dog. If handled well an aggressive dog can change for the better. Bring some simple change in routine or call in a professional trainer to manage the severity of aggression.
Dog bites are more than having broken bones or getting injured. They cause emotional trauma and their after-effects can last for a lifetime.
Unfortunately, if you have encountered an aggressive dog and have been attacked you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries and losses suffered.
We at Khashan Law specialize in handling Dog bite and attack cases. We have the required knowledge and experience to represent our clients and help them receive fair compensation. Contact us today at 951.461.2387 or (833) BITE-LAW for a free and confidential consultation.