How to Handle an Aggressive Dog
Dealing with an aggressive dog can be overwhelming and even scary at times. Here are a few tips on how to handle aggression in your dog.
Aggression is a scary, dangerous, and difficult thing to manage in your dog.
The last thing you'd ever want was for something to happen, someone to get bit, then to deal with the consequences of that. There are ways to temper your dog and respond in difficult situations, though.
The more you know about how to manage an aggressive dog, the safer you and everyone around you will be in heightened situations. We're going to take a look at how to address this issue, giving you some actionable ideas on how to curb aggression in dogs and get some peace of mind.
Hopefully, the ideas below will help you move forward with your obedience training.
How to Deal With an Aggressive Dog
The first thing you should do when you encounter aggression in your dog is to seek a consultation from a veterinarian and professional trainer. Anger and aggression can be the side effects of some medical issues such as chemical imbalance in the brain that can be helped with a pharmacalogical treatment in conjunction with behavioral modification training.
This is especially the case if your dog has been otherwise docile and friendly. Get a consultation from your vet and see if there's anything serious producing this kind of aggression.
Further, monitor the situations when the dog starts to show aggression. In a lot of cases, the individual might have problems with protecting food, encountering other dogs, or meeting new people in general. There could be other situations that produce aggression, though, so be on the lookout for triggers your dog might have.
Finally, take your dog to see a professional trainer. The best person to handle these situations is someone who has experience fixing them. There are things you should do at home to help the behavior, and we'll discuss those, but note that a professional is required in these situations.
The stakes are too high. If your dog bites someone or another dog, it's possible that he or she will need to be put down depending on the situation. That's the last thing you want, especially considering that the dog is just acting in the way that knows.
The idea of a "mean" dog is rarely accurate. Instead, there are just dogs that get protective and act in a way that's natural to them. That said, aggressive behavior is dangerous for everyone around.
Enrich Your Dog's Health
It's generally the case that a dog's natural state is one of friendliness and kindness. Whatever the breed, the dog in question will evolve in a way that agrees with its environment.
So, a healthy and loving environment should produce a healthy and loving dog. At the same time, it's not always easy to intuit a dog's needs or figure out what's best for their physical and mental health.
If your household is a friendly one and you never show aggression to your dog, why would they start to show aggression? It's not always clear, but it's often the case that their needs aren't being met in one way or another.
The first thing you can do is ensure that they're getting enough healthy food and they're not competing for food with the other animals in your house. This is a foundational thing to address. If your dog isn't getting enough food, their natural inclination will be to assert themselves to get what they need.
Imagine if you were confused and hungry and you couldn't communicate. What would you do? You might bare your teeth and do whatever you could to make sure that you were fed.
Exercise and Aggression
The next thing to do is make sure that your dog is getting out and releasing all of that energy. Depending on the breed of dog in question, the animal might need more exercise than you'd think.
Talk with your veterinarian and trainer about the particular breed and get an assessment of how much time the animals should spend outside. Excess energy can be an issue that leads to strange emotional outbursts. The same goes for playtime and periods of time where they're getting your attention.
These are all things that will vent energy, improve your dog's mood, and reduce the chance that they're releasing aggression.
Understand Warning Signs and Severity
Another thing you can do to manage your dog in difficult situations is to remove them when you notice a particular warning sign.
There's a spectrum of dog behavior that can indicate the level of aggression that the pup is experiencing. Licking and yawning fall right at the bottom of that list.
Working your way up, you see things like turning the body away, pawing, and even walking away. As things start to progress, the dog might start to creep and push its ears back. These things aren't necessarily aggressive behaviors as we tend to think about them, but they indicate a small escalation.
As things turn into aggression, we see the dog start to crouch with its tail between its legs. Then, interestingly, it might lie down and show its belly. This step occurs right before things start to escalate and get more dangerous.
After this point, the dog will start to growl, bare its teeth, snap, and bite. If you start to see some behavior from the middle of that ladder of aggression, you know that it might be time to remove your animal from the situation.
If they're showing that behavior toward you, it's an indication that you should create some space and put barriers between you and them. That might just mean going to a different room and shutting the door.
Work With Your Trainer's Insight
Again, the most important thing to do is bring your dog to a trainer. They're the ones who can stifle aggressive behavior and modify the animal's responses to different stimuli.
Aggression is hard to remove, but it's possible. You don't want to take any chances, so listen to the trainer and make sure that you're creating a transformative environment at home as well.
Looking for Obedience Training?
If you've got an aggressive dog, it's time to start looking into your options for obedience training. There are numerous options for aggressive dog training, obedience training, and more.
We're here to help you get the training you need. Contact us for more insight into training options, tricks, tips, and anything else you might need when it comes to getting your dog to lose its aggression. We have refined our aggressive dog training or as we call it, Fiesty Fido, program to be the most successful in dealing with aggression in dogs in Texas.