Maybe your dog is suddenly acting up and you don’t know why. Or perhaps your dog has always been aggressive? Whether you’re struggling with the former or latter, this article will shed some light on the causes of dog aggression and how you can help your dog!
Identify the problem!
Have you ever had a friend acting strangely or impulsively? And all you wanted to do was shake them and tell them to STOP! Instead, have you tried asking them what’s bothering them in order to understand the reason for their behaviour?
Dogs should be treated the same. We cannot deal with an aggressive or ill-behaved dog by being aggressive and forceful back. We also cannot ask a dog what’s wrong and expect a reply because he will only sit there with a mouth full of teeth (literally). It’s up to us to observe our dog’s environment and behaviour and try to figure out what the cause of their aggression may be. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is my dog in pain?
It often happens that dogs are acting up because they are experiencing discomfort. Check your dog for fleas and tics. Have a look if they’re limping or sensitive on a certain part of their body. Also note if they are eating any less or more, or vomiting up their food. These are all indications that something is wrong with your dog’s health and you should take him to the vet to get him seen to.
Other signs of discomfort and insecurity can be seen when dogs lick their nose, have wide eyes, yawn, shake, scratch and drop their head.
How is my dog’s environment?
If you’re out at work all day and your fur friend is alone in the house, you have no idea what he may be getting up to. Ensure your dog always has fresh water, food and regular opportunities to go to the toilet. It’s also imperative to give them space to run around and a cool place in the shade to relax. If your garden isn’t big enough, ensure you are taking them out for daily walks and fresh air.
If you have more than one dog living together, it's a good idea to have many toys to keep them distracted from each other and to stop them from becoming competitive and fighting.
Has my dog been through any trauma?
If you’ve got a rescue dog then you know good and well why your dog might act the way he does. Sometimes, in other cases, our dogs are exposed to mistreatment and trauma that we are unaware of. A child may have bullied him, or perhaps there’s been noisy construction in the area that has put a bee in his bonnet. In that case, give him some extra attention and love, until he comes around.
Techniques and Tips for major aggression!
Sometimes, it’s not just a quick fix, but we need to invest time and patience into coaxing, perhaps ‘genetically’ aggressive dogs to the ‘nice’ side. Being mindful of how we handle our fur friends can prevent any sticky situations.
Here are some top tips and tricks to help your dog deal with other dogs AND people in public:
- If your dog hasn’t already been trained, establish some basic ground rules like “SIT” and “STAY”. These basic command words initiate that dog-owner dynamic which is imperative for your dog’s ability to listen and respond.
- Always mind your manners. By manners, we mean, tone of voice, voice control, patience and timing. By controlling all of the above, you can calmly coax your dog to do as you need. Use your voice to calm your dog and facial expressions to communicate- try raising your eyebrows as a sign of affection.
- Give positive reinforcement when your dog overcomes his aggressive behavior. This encourages them to do the same in the future. You can even use snacks as a 'call to control' and then praise your dog after he has taken the snack and remained calm.
- Neither you nor anyone else should make sudden or jerky movements around an uptight dog. If you are walking in a park and someone vigorously approaches you or your dog, get ready to step in and command your dog to “sit” or”stay”.
- Give your dog a toy. Whilst walking in the park, or even if your dog is lounging around at home, giving him a fun chewy toy to play with serves as a distraction and lowers the reflex time of reacting out of aggression.
- It’s usually a good idea to spray or neuter your dog. Neutering can likely provide remarkable improvement for many dogs that are displaying marking, roaming or mounting behavior
With so many herbal options to choose from, natural remedies promote relaxation, soothe tension and relieve occasional anxiety and panic caused by emotional tension and discomfort! If you want your doggy to ‘chill out’ a bit more, try PetCalm or Aggression Formula. AllisOne Rescue Synergy is a combination of tissue salts for composure and stability. Alternatively, a calming collar might do the trick- that way, you can still take your dog out in public.Try NurtureCalm 24/7 Canine Calming Collar for Dogs.