Canine aggression isn't just a problem for you: it affects everyone your dog comes into contact with, including family, friends, and even strangers. You don't want to risk an expensive lawsuit because you did nothing to curb a solvable dog problem. Instead, follow the advice below for stopping dog aggression.
Curb Canine Aggression - Here's How
Working with an aggressive dog can be extremely dangerous and should never be attempted alone. Seeking expert help from an experienced animal-behavior specialist who genuinely understands the different animal learning theories and behavioral patterns is always smart.
When stumped for aggressive canine solutions, don't sweat it. There are things you can do to deal with the situation. Here are some of them.
- Always check with a veterinarian before looking at alternative remedies. This will help rule out any medical causes for dog aggression; sometimes the problem is nothing more than discomfort or pain.
- Dogs possessive of treats, food or certain places in the house can be dealt with this way - limit his access to such favorite items. During emergency scenarios, bribe the dog with something better than the one it has. For example, if he steals your socks, trade for it with a piece of bacon. But NEVER let a dog think he deserves things like food treats or toys. The more you spoil your dog, the much more difficult it will be to curb his aggression.
- Neuter or spay aggressive dogs. 'Intact' dogs tend to display territorial-, protective- and dominance-aggressive behavior.
- Keep the dog's exposure to situations that increase his likelihood of showing aggression to a minimum. Examples include a dog park where he gets into tussles or a particular guest who sends him into a flurry. In severe cases, owners may need to confine their furry friends in a secure room and limit their contact with other people.
- Get professional help. Aggression woes won't disappear by themselves. They require in-home support from an animal behaviorist.
- Keeping other members of the household safe is your first priority. Restrict doggie activities and keep him under close supervision while still in the process of obtaining professional help. If you must take out your dog, consider using a cage-like muzzle on him as a precautionary measure.
- Whatever you do, don't promote aggressive dog behavior. Playing games like wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog only encourages him to try and best or win over you, which can result in dominance aggression issues. This is how most territorial and protective aggressive behavior start.
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Dog aggression is a highly complicated matter. People who have aggressive dogs need to keep in mind that punishment is never a solution. In fact, it'll only make the aggression problem worse. Punishing possessive, territorial or protective dog aggression will likely merely elicit more defensive aggression and lead to severe attacks and biting incidents.
Dogs, even overly aggressive ones, need understanding, NOT additional torture. The quicker you find out what's bothering your dog, the more accurate his treatment will be and the sooner he'll be able to recover.