Dog aggression is a serious concern amongst pet owners and dog walkers. Typically, dog aggression stems from some form of frustration of a bid for dominance amongst other pets. The frustration usually comes from a lack of exercise, while dominance from a lack of calm-assertive leadership – improper training, in many cases. Almost every dog breed on the planet can suffer from aggressive behavior. Even a small dog, such as Chihuahua – which are known for their aggressive behavior – can lead to severe damage. However, the bigger the dog, the more significant the damage to a human or another dog in the park. As a dog walker or pet owner, here is how to better deal with dog aggression.
Types of Dog Aggression
First, before we dive into our expert tips for dealing with dog aggression, let us examine the most common types of dog aggression.
- Territorial – Many dogs will attack or bite an intruder in their home, whether that intruder is a friend of the family or a foe often does not matter.
- Protection – There are many dogs that show aggressive behavior when they feel their family or friends are in danger.
- Possessive – Many dogs guard their possessions – toys and food – from others.
- Fear – A fearful dog is likely to become overly aggressive when backed into a corner or faced with a larger dog – even if they are trying to play.
- Social – A particularly severe problem amongst dog walkers, social aggressiveness stems from a dog perceiving itself to be higher in status than those around him.
Expert Dog Aggression Tips
If you pay close enough attention, you can recognize the signs of an aggressive dog before their behavior becomes damaging or severe.
- Alpha Dog – A dog is a pack animal. In the pack, there is always one “alpha dog” or a leader of the entire unit. If there is no established leader, your dog may try to establish itself as the alpha and become aggressive to accomplish this goal. At home, you must establish yourself as the alpha dog. You need to establish physical boundaries and behavioral boundaries to teach the dog that you are in control.
- Leash Training – Many dogs suffer from what is known as leash aggression. They do not like being bound, and so they lash out. You must train your dog to use the leash – do not tighten the leash too far or tug on it, though.
- Meals – Sharing food is often a big no-no from pets. Many become aggressive. You may need to feed an aggressive dog last, at the back of the pack, so to speak, and even crate him during meal times.
When it comes to training an aggressive dog, a few general tips include rewarding them for good behavior. You can use a toy, a treat, or verbal praise to get the job done. This ensures your dog understands that you, the alpha dog, are pleased with how they act.
If you find yourself dealing with dog aggression, do not fret. You can catch the problem early and rectify the behavior using expert tips and training techniques at home.