Aggression in Dogs

What does aggression in dogs look like and how does it manifest? Some dogs have behavior issues that can make them dangerous to other dogs and even to humans. They can be aggressive, especially when guarding things they consider their possessions, ie. bowls, toys, food, items they steal/find, people, etc. Unfortunately, these behaviors can be dangerous, especially if they tend to snap or bite. Do you think your dog may be aggressive? Here are some behaviors to look for: Growling, Bearing Teeth, Snapping, Aggressive Barking, Lunging, Biting, etc…

Dogs can be aggressive for various reasons. Often a problem that leads to aggression in dogs includes poor socialization as a puppy, proper socialization is very important in the developmental stages of your dog’s youth; also their experiences can cause fear and aggression as a response to certain triggers. Underlying medical conditions and mental health problems can be related to aggression in dogs. As dogs mature you may notice aggression problems, especially with males as they experience sexual maturation (if they have not been neutered). Inbreeding and being the decedent of aggressive dog can also be connected to aggression and violent outbursts in dogs. Environment also plays a big role in dog’s behavior; a dog that is cooped up inside all day and not exercised, a dog that has been punished, a dog that has not received proper attention may demonstrate aggressive behavior as well. If your dog is showing aggressive behavior it is important that you address it immediately. If your dog causes harm to a person or another dog it could be euthanized.

A dog trainer who specializes in aggressive behavior could be extremely helpful in these cases. Safety should be your main concern as you don’t want harm to come to your dog or to anyone else. A dog behaviorist can make a huge difference in addressing the possession and aggression problems. Speak to your veterinary doctor, they should be able to recommend someone to you. You may need to use a muzzle when taking your dog out. Teaching “drop it” and “leave it” can be very useful for possessive and aggressive dogs. If your dog is food possessive, try feeding it in an enclosed space so that no one else gets in its way. If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, there is help available! You are not alone!