How to stop dog aggression?

April 13, 2012

Dog aggression is one of the reasons why thousands of dogs in animal shelters are euthanized every year. We are a race of dog lovers but an overly aggressive dog is a potential threat to humans. Dogs that mauled and killed their owners are often the headlines of newspapers. Dogs, by nature are aggressive creatures. Dogs in the wild have to be aggressive to protect themselves from predators and even from other dogs to survive. Rottweiler, Chow Chow, Pit bull terriers, Akita and bulldogs are some of the inherently aggressive dog breeds. Their stance as well as the growling and the snarling are meant to intimidate and to scare people. Dogs with this kind of behavior are commonly utilized as watch and guard dogs. As such they are further trained to hone their aggressive behavior.

Dogs that are known for their gentle and mild temperament are commonly chosen to be home companions. Sadly, even these docile dogs are known to exhibit a ferocious temperament. Millions of people get bitten by dogs every year and majority of dog bite victims are children. This is why aggressive dog training is very necessary to address this potentially dangerous situation.

Understanding the nature of the dog and what triggers the aggression is the first step to resolve this concern. Dogs have inherent aggressive behavior but in most cases, aggression is caused by situations in the environment of the dog. A mother dog will exhibit an aggressive behavior to protect its puppies. Another dog would bite if the food or a toy is taken away or if a stranger intrudes in their territory. Owners can prevent the pet from developing an aggressive behavior through proactive methods.

Socialize the dog. Socialization must be started as early as possible to prevent the dog from forming the unwanted aggressive behavior. Introduce your pet to a wide variety of people. A dog that is accustomed to meeting strangers will exhibit a friendly behavior. Dog parks are controlled environments where the puppy will learn to interact with other dogs. Be aware of the fact that your pet will depend on you not only for its food and shelter but also in broadening its social horizon. Oftentimes, aggression is triggered by fear. By exposing your pet to different situations and experiences, you are actually training your dog not to fear the unexpected, to stay calm and confident no matter what the situation is. Obedience training is another way of curbing the aggressive behavior of the pet. The dog must be made to understand that you, the alpha leader must be obeyed.

Training an aggressive dog would need lots of patience and perseverance. Don’t lose hope if at first the dog lashes out and your efforts yield no positive results. With lots of praises and positive reinforcements, your dog will behave the way you want it to.

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