Aggressive behavior in dogs may be caused by a variety of factors. It could be a result of a power struggle between the dog and another animal, or you and your dog. It could also be an issue which was not dealt with properly when the dog was a puppy such as being attacked by another dog or being physically abused. No matter what causes your pet’s aggressive behavior, you should deal with it as early as possible. The effects of aggressive behavior in dogs can be both frightening and dangerous if not taken care of properly.
The Cause of Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
Aggressive behavior may begin as early as 6 weeks old. This is an important time when puppies need to be socialized with other people, animals, and especially other dogs. They also need to be trained properly to prevent them from biting. This time of puppy socialization training generally lasts until your puppy is about fourteen weeks old, (although it can take longer with some breeds as needed).
Consequently, a puppy should never be removed from the litter prior to 2 months of age. Additionally, harsh training should never be used with a puppy that is between 8-10 weeks old. Ensure that your pet is treated carefully during that time. Striking, shouting or any other severe punishments at this early age can cause aggressive behavior in dogs when they are older.
Dog aggression may be cause by a number of other factors as well. Genetics and breeding are undoubtedly variables which may contribute to aggressive tendencies. Some dog breeds tend to be more aggressive than others, but there is not any one breed of dog that is always aggressive. Furthermore, dogs which have not been sprayed or neutered are more susceptible to aggressive traits.
Undoubtedly, however, the single most important element contributing to aggressive behavior in dogs is the dog’s environment. A dog which has inadequate living conditions, is punished severely, has not been socialized properly, or has been attacked or scared by another animal or dog is much more apt to be aggressive when it gets older.
Aggression can also start from your dog’s natural instinct to establish a pack leader. Biting, growling and other aggressive behaviors are sometimes caused by a dog trying to establish themself as the alpha dog (leader of the pack). You need to establish yourself as the alpha dog while your pooch is still a puppy and you should be careful to maintain that position through the dog’s younger years to help ensure that your pet doesn’t try to take charge of your household.
Stopping Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
Should your dog demonstrate aggressive behavior after they are approximately 1 year or more of age (after they’ve reached sexual maturity), and they are still exhibiting aggressiveness, you need to address the problem immediate. This is particularly the case if your dog has already been spayed or neutered.
- Re-establish yourself as the alpha dog
- Never reward your dog for their aggressive behavior
- Train (or re-train) your pet to respond to your commands
- Control their walking and feeding times
If your pet is aggressive as a defense mechanism, they may bite, bark, or demonstrate other aggressive problems due to fear. If this is the case with your pet, they were likely not socialized properly. Be sure to keep your pet away from other animals and small children. Then re-train your pet to stop dog aggression.
Aggressive behavior in dogs can be very frustrating, but it can be controlled. If your dog’s aggression advances to violent tendencies such as biting or attacking people or other animals, you may wish to consider taking them to a professional trainer in order to avoid future problems.
Tagged with: Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!