Aggression in dogs is one of the most common problems dog owners can face. Any dog, regardless of its breed, can be aggressive, the only difference being in how much damage it can cause.
The source of aggression can differ from illness and injury to frustration and dominance. Figuring out the source of what causes the aggression in dogs is the most important point when you are trying to improve their behavior.
Why Does Aggression in Dogs Happen?
So the first thing you would want to do if you are experiencing aggressive behavior in your dog is to take him to a veterinarian for a checkup. It is very important to rule out pain as possible cause because if something causes them pain it will result in an aggressive behavior. Once you rule out this problem you need to keep on digging further. Does your dog get aggressive at strangers, other dogs, if someone approaches it while it is eating etc? Once you get to know what causes the aggression, you can approach the issue appropriately. It is very crucial to try and avoid these situations as much as possible. You should also find a good dog behaviorist or trainer with whom you will be able to create a plan on how to approach the problem. The plans for different sources of aggression are of course different.
Positive Attitude & Lots of Patience
Whatever the plan might be it is most likely that it will take quite a while for the aggression to completely disappear so you’ll need to be very patient and try to stay positive. An exercise such as the attention focus exercise might need a lot of repetitions before you get your dog used to giving you full attention. Also, in the case of exposing your dog to its fear a lot of sessions are required. Since you don’t want to make it very anxious and stressed out you will need to start off by placing the trigger of the aggressive behavior further away from it. In each session you would bring it closer and give it treats if it stays calm.
Better Be Safe Than Sorry
There are some other things you should have in mind that will help with keeping other people and animals safe. Having a high fence that your dog can’t jump over and that has no weak spots for your dog to escape is very important. Walking your dog on a strong leash that is not going to break in case it decides to attack someone is a must. Last but not the least, purchase a muzzle! It will help you and everyone around to be at ease knowing that it can’t bite you.
Featured image credits: David Shankbone