An aggressive dog can be a cause of concern to its owners and members of the family. When dogs feel threatened, they may exhibit aggressive behaviors such as barking, hair raising, and the ultimate response, involving claws and teeth.
Aggression can be normal or abnormal, depending on the circumstances and what stimulates it. But don’t worry, it can be managed.
First things first: aggression management in dogs involves knowing the cause of the aggression.
Also read: How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Owner?
Dog Aggression Red Flags
Not all dogs start as aggressive canines. Some may develop a different behavior as they journey through adolescence. Your timid and shy pup might become aggressive, depending on how the dog interacts with humans and other dogs.
Here are some aggression red flags you need to watch out in your dog:
A happy, rowdy dog who enjoys rough playing with his siblings may suddenly become irritable. He may start to snap at dogs who attempt to play with him and respond similarly to his humans.
Too much excitement
There are certain types of dog breeds, particularly those working breeds who can become too aroused or too excited. They can team up with other dogs to bully a timid and shy pup.
Timid and bullied pups, in return, may develop a reactive behavior. Instead of hiding under the sofa away from dogs who are bullying it, it might learn to snap and chase other dogs as it grows, making dog on dog aggression a normal part of its behavior. If the dog deems this behavior successful in keeping away other dogs from bullying, this will go on.
How to Manage Dog Aggression
Several ways can be used to manage aggression in your dog.
Recognizing the stimuli
There are different types of aggression. It can be caused by sibling rivalry, territorial claiming, fear, or even pain. To manage the dog’s response, you need to determine what exactly caused that aggression. It’s called stimuli.
Consult a veterinary behavioral specialist
While your veterinarian may help you narrow down the cause of aggressive behavior, it’s best to consult a behavior specialist. These professionals will do a thorough assessment. They’re the ones who can recommend a sound and effective intervention.
Some of the behavioral modifications involve the use of positive reinforcement. You give a reward for every good behavior your dog exhibited. However, it’s crucial to remind yourself not to reinforce bad behavior. Sometimes, you might be unaware that you’re encouraging your dog.
Never punish bad behavior of your dog
While it’s a must to reinforce good behavior, punishing your dog for an aggressive response is counterproductive. Aversion therapy will only make your dog more aggressive. If you hit your dog in the hopes of enforcing discipline, it will view the same as an acceptable response.
You might also like: Dog Training Tips for Aggressive Behavior
Aggression in dogs can be tough for its human and the rest of the family. In the saddest event that it can’t be overturned, euthanasia is often advised. This possibility is tragic. That’s why it’s crucial to spot the red flags so that you can correct aggressive behavior at its earliest onset.
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