Aggressive Behaviors in Canines Stem From Fear and Possible Health Problems

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October 29, 2018


Scolding a dog and yanking it away from a volatile situation was the norm many years ago. Today’s dog training professionals have been researching and applying new concepts to lovable canines, however. The old way of doing things is nearly debunked as a whole. Positive interactions and operant conditioning are the keys to a well-behaved dog. If pet owners are concerned about their dogs’ behaviors toward other canines, it’s time to train those habits out of them. There are safe and healthy ways to encourage happy encounters every day.

Starting out With Puppy Playtime

When pet owners have a puppy, there’s a simple solution to aggressive behaviors. Most puppies are isolated to their immediate caregivers’ spaces. They aren’t socializing with other dogs. Therefore, their frame of mind is fear when it comes to encountering any dog outside of the family unit.

A dog daycare professional suggests puppy gatherings at local facilities. Bring the pup in to socialize with other dogs. The aggression should abate over time. Pet owners might see dogs becoming “friends” by playing rather than fighting. Consider this socializing as a preschool for canines.

Turning to Treat-Oriented Training

Teenage and adult dogs can be set in their ways. Lakewood pet owners do have an option with treat-oriented training, however. Take the dog on a walk with a few treats hidden away in a bag. As the dog sees another canine down the street, command the pup to sit. Assuming the dog responds to the command, give it a treat.

The distraction may stop the dog from becoming aggressive in the first place. As the other canine moves closer, use quiet commands to stop any barking. A dog that properly responds will get more treats. The idea behind the treats is a positive response to a volatile situation. After a few more walks, the dog will automatically refrain from barking even without a treat in play.

Desensitizing the Pup

Lakewood pet owners may want to take an alternative approach to their training process. Consider a neighbor’s canine that has an adjoining fence with a dog owner’s property. These two animals might bark at each other every day.

Take the dog on the leash, and stand far from the other dog. Quiet the leashed pet and give it a treat. Every subsequent day afterward, bring the dog closer to the fence. By desensitizing the dog to the nearby canine, aggression will slowly decline.

Feeding the Right Way

Pet owners may have multiple animals in the household. The aggression arises during feeding times. Dogs need to feel comfortable about their eating situation. Any threat to the resources generates an aggressive stance.

Feed each dog with its own bowl in separate areas of the home. It may not be convenient, but it calms the dogs into a quiet period of eating.

Being the Leader

Take a look at the everyday dog walker. The pups are out front where they’re considered the leader while the owner holds the leashes as tightly as possible. To reduce aggression in dogs, let them know that the human is the leader.

Hold the leashes tightly alongside the body. The dogs should be slightly behind the person. By asserting the human body into this position, the dogs automatically feel inferior. They may not be so inclined to bark or lunge when the leader is in charge.

Getting Familiar

As a dog continually improves with other canines, take it to a dog park for some socializing. Dogs may feel more inclined to be calm around others of their kind when scents are exchanged. Although many pet owners frown upon this practice, allow the dogs to sniff each other. The scents from the anal glands are an identification process where canines remember each other. Golden canines will look forward to the next trip because of the scents that they recall.

Setting the Mood

A dog with aggressive behavior is a source of tension for owners. They respond to these situations with frustration. A dog daycare expert might suggest that a change in mood is necessary.

If the dog notices a relaxed and happy owner, it may not lash out at a canine walking nearby. Golden pet owners put out their own vibes that dogs notice on a primitive level. A calm owner can have a relaxed dog with a little time for the change.

Understanding Medical Reasons

Dogs don’t like to show weakness, which is what an illness would look like to another canine. They’ll hide their pain until it’s too much. Lashing out with aggression is the next step. A dog might be aggressive if there’s an underlying cause from a medical perspective.

Several illnesses can cause dangerous behavior, such as:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Neurological conditions
  • Chronic pain

If pet owners pinpoint the cause of their dog’s aggression, solving the medical issue can calm it down.

Taking Classes Together

Pet owners may not see the results that they desire in their dogs as time wears on. Some animals are simply more stubborn than other ones. Everyone’s safety must be taken into consideration at this point. Think about enrolling in a dog training class. There are specific classes for dogs that are aggressive as puppies or adults.

The trainers can customize a plan that works for the pup. Every animal has a chance to prove itself as a gentle dog. Pet owners must commit to the training too, which solidifies the process in the dog’s mind.

Each dog will have its own personality. If pet owners deal with multiple dogs displaying aggression issues, treat the individual canines with unique training. Their response will be positive when there’s enough time and dedication to the training process. After a few weeks or months, the canines might greet other dogs with a toothy smile instead of an aggressive stance.