Do you have an aggressive dog? Common indications that a dog has aggression problems include snarling, growling, snapping, biting and teeth-baring. While this type of behavior is totally unacceptable to humans, it's quite normal for canines. If you think about it, sometimes, aggressive behavior represents one of the few communication tools available to dogs. Canines are able to get their message across to other dogs best by barking and being overly aggressive.
Dogs can "act up" for a variety of reasons. Factors that influence dog aggression include early experiences, hormonal status, external stimuli, maturity particulars, sex, size, physiological condition, age and genetic predisposition. Behaviorists have some form of classification system for determining the cause of aggression. There's territorial, dominance-related, fear-induced, maternal, predatory inter-male aggression and redirected aggression. Each type calls for a different therapy approach.
Aggressive Dog Solutions - Points to Ponder
Here are some common reasons dogs become aggressive, and simple solutions to them:
- He may think that he is the alpha dog (dominance aggression). In this case you have to go through an extensive alpha dog training problem so your dog knows who is the boss (you and your family). Part of that involves eating before him, ALWAYS going through the door before your dog, and making him sit and wait for treats and rewards. Follow the SitStayFetch.net Alpha Dog Training program for more detailed, expert information on asserting yourself as the alpha dog.
- He may be defending himself from other dogs or children. Is your dog bullied by other dogs often? Does he get smacked around or bullied by children or adults? Dogs who are abused often retaliate with aggressive behavior. Make sure none of you or your family, including small children and any other dogs you may have, are terrorizing your pet. Your dog has emotions just like humans, and like someone who is constantly getting bullied, dogs can eventually "snap" and become aggressive, dangerous animals.
- He may be defending "his" territory. Do you let your dog get the run of your property? Is he the alpha dog in the family? If so, you are pressuring him to retain his wolf-like instincts and forcing him to have to "defend" the family territory. Believe it or not, most dogs do NOT want this kind of pressure!
- He might feel possessive of his belonging, such as toys or food. Never allow your dog to think that getting a toy or treat is his right. Make him understand that it is a reward, not a privilege.
- He could be afraid of other dogs. This is perhaps the most common reason for dog aggression problems. When a dog feels unable to defend himself (or his family--that is, YOU), he will lash out in frustration with aggressive behavior. Make sure your dog is not being bullied, especially by bigger, tougher dogs. Teach him the heel command so he doesn't search out trouble, and avoid areas that are full of threatening dogs.
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Treating dog aggressive behavior isn't easy. But it IS worth it. You don't want a dangerous dog threatening your life or others. You DO want a dog that is well trained and understands his place in the family rank. Learn how to deal with an aggressive dog, through alpha dog training and a veterinary appointment. Everyone, including your dog, will thank you!
Dog Obedience Advice is a free resource offering advice on dog training and a host of common problems dog owners face, including: aggression in all its forms, from territoriality to possessiveness, and from dominance aggression to aggression caused by fear; the most common and frustrating obedience issues, such as problem digging, chewing, and barking; and comprehensive information on house training methods with sound advice on tackling all of the most common housebreaking problems.
On the site you will find indepth articles and reviews of dog training products that we have researched and trialled. Dog Obedience Advice is run by Colin Pederson, a self-confessed "dog man" residing in California with his wife and black Lab Casey.