What Can You Do When You’e Dog Is Too Aggressive?
Its a disheartening feeling when you adopt a new pet to find that he becomes territorial, domineering and outright dangerous due to aggression. Certain people are under the understanding that dog aggressiveness levels comes down to breed. Not at all. You can always find a mild mannered pit bull while certain poodles can be terrors. According to 20-20:
- 90% of dog bites happen to people who know the dogs
- Most of the dogs that bite are the family pets
- 60% to 70% of dog bites are to children or the elderly
- 40% of the bites to children result in loss of facial tissue (lips, cheek etc.)
- 1/2 of the claims made on homeowners insurance are dog bites claims
- Over aggressiveness in dogs has a number of different causes that all can be traced back to 2 different areas: poor breeding or poor socializing.
An aggressive dog doesn’t pop out of no where. Pet Insurance notes there are always noticeable warning signs that you’re not dealing with an average friendly pet. This type of behaviour builds as the dog finds that growling or dominating often achieves what he wants. Such as leaving him with his food.
What Can You Do About This Developed Behaviour?
1) Establish yourself as pack leader.
Dogs are pack animals and as such need this family structure in their lives. If they feel there is no head of the pack in the household, they will look to fill that spot, this can often result in domineering aggression as the dog looks to reinforce his position as head honcho.
You need to establish rule that you are the master. This can be done with a few simple tricks. Eat dinner before your dog. The leader always eats first followed by lower ranking members. If the dog sleeps in your bed try moving him to lower sleeping quarters as the best sleeping spot belongs to the leader. Simple tricks like this can show your dominance and leadership to your dog.
2) Establish triggers and who exactly your dog is acting aggressive towards.
Are they family/friends? Strangers passing by? The events that trigger your dogs fight or flight attitude coupled with who they are acting this way with are key to training it out.
If for example it’s small children in the house that try to take a toy from the dog, which causes the pet to snarl. Do not reward this behaviour. Remove the children from the situation and remove any stimulus that the dog is protecting. Showing that this behaviour does not result in them being left alone with their toy.
3) Work with a dog behaviourist / Vet.
If the dog possesses a threat. Always consult a dog behaviour specialist and your local vet. They have much more experience dealing with this and will know exactly what sort of aggression your dog is displaying straight off.
Above all. Never assume your dog is “cured” of aggression. Your dog can have their behaviour altered with modification training. But certain triggers will always be there. Never falter in your training and assume the dog is “fixed for life”.