Aggression in Dogs: The Types and the Treatments to Tame Your Pet
Dog is man’s best friend. So, why does your dog act so nasty toward you and others? The problem might not be with the dog, but with how you’ve trained him.
But, professional dog psychologists often teach how and why dogs react violently towards others. Once you understand the underlying reasons, you can help you dog to become a happy, healthy, member of your family.
What Is Aggression?
The term “aggression” usually refers to a wide range of emotional and behavioral responses elicited by dogs, which can occur for a variety of reasons. Almost all wild animals, or animals descended from wild animals can display aggression from time to time.
Species that live in groups, which include people and dogs, may also use aggression and the threat of aggression to guard territory and negotiate social interactions.
Common behaviors you may witness in your dog include:
- Becoming rigid and still
- Deep or guttural barking or growling
- Lunging or charging with no physical contact, but with a threatening stance
- Muzzle punching
- Showing teeth in an aggressive manner
- Quick nip
- * Bite with pressure to cause a bruise
- * Bite that causes puncture wounds
- Bite that tears skin
- Biting and shaking
- Rapid biting
Aggression doesn’t mean that your dog is being “bad,” which would imply that dogs have a complex or even rudimentary understanding of “right” and “wrong” or “good” and “bad.” Dogs don’t understand morality.
They can’t make those kinds of choices. However, they can (and will) defend what they perceive as their
own territory. And, they will defend themselves from what they perceive as an attack. When they’re scared, they will also lash out in either frustration, sadness, or what we might perceive as anger.
Rather than punishing the dog or seeking “revenge,” as some uninformed dog owners do, you should try to figure out the underlying cause of the aggressive behavior and deal with that – retaining the dog and solving the aggressive behavior.
Think of it as a puzzle to solve, not retribution you need to take out on the animal. If you’re having trouble, contact northern NJ dog trainers for help.
Different Kinds Of Aggressive Behavior
If your dog has had aggressive problems for a while now, take the time to evaluate triggers that set the dog off.
What seemed to stop the aggression? Usually, dogs will display patterns of aggression that you can then use to figure out how to solve the problem without teaching new destructive behaviors of reinforcing other bad behaviors.
Most aggression problems are caused by either frustration, pain, territorial-based, sexual aggressiveness, or are predatory in nature.
When you hone in on the exact type, you can make a game plan to deal with it.
For example, if your dog displays sexually-aggressive behavior, find out when the dog is most likely to be aggressive – during the day, evening, or at night.
If your dog hasn’t been neutered or spayed, you may need to have that done. Even still, you will want to monitor behavior and make sure that you distract or redirect that aggression as soon as it appears.
Katherine Elliott has been working with dogs in one form or another all her working life. She started out cleaning kennels on weekends, then moved onto dog grooming whilst also dog-walking and running training classes in her spare time.