Have you heard of the saying, “A dog’s bark is worse than its bite”? However, it can be a rather scary experience looking at a barking and snapping dog. Many dog owners have to deal with dog aggression at some point in time. Sadly, many of them handled it incorrectly.
If you want to deal effectively with your dog’s aggressive behavior, you will first need to understand the problem. Try to understand the reasons behind your dog’s aggression. Be aware of his triggers. Once you have this awareness, you will be more capable to handle the problem.
The following are some possible reasons why your dog is acting aggressively towards other animals and people.
He is being protective
Dogs can become very protective of their families and other family pets – sometimes to the point where they become aggressive in defending them against perceived threats.
He is protecting his possessions
Dogs sometimes become very possessive of certain toys or objects to the extend of becoming aggressive about it. They will bark or snap at people or other pets that try to take them away.
He is frightened
It may not appear so, but when your dog becomes aggressive toward other animals or people, it is possible that he is afraid and his aggression is simply a defense mechanism.
He is being defensive
Dogs that behave aggressively because of fear often resort to defensive aggression. They are hoping to deter the threat before it becomes a reality.
He is protecting his territory
Dogs are prone to territorial behaviors, especially male dogs. They use their urine to mark their territories. If another dog or person comes into your dog’s perceived territory, he may regard it as a threat and become aggressive.
He may be redirecting his aggression
Sometimes when a dog feels threatened by some kind of intruder but, or some reason, is not able to physically address the threat, he may redirect his aggression to the nearest person, animal or object instead.
He may be competing for a female dog
When a female dog goes into heat, male dogs tend to compete for her attention and for the privilege of mating with her. If your male dog is intact, these behaviors are more likely to occur.
He has not been properly socialized
Socialization is an essential part of raising and training a puppy. If the puppy is not exposed to people and other dogs during the first two months of his life, he is likely to have trouble adapting to new situations as an adult. This may result in inappropriate and aggressive behaviors.
He is asserting himself as the leader
Dogs naturally form a hierarchy when they live in groups. Sometimes it is necessary for the leader of the pack to assert his dominance to remind the others of their place in the pack.
He is in pain
It can be difficult to tell when your dog is in pain because he cannot tell you about it. When a dog is experiencing pain, he is more likely to act aggressively to deter people and animals from approaching.
He may be overly excited or frustrated
Some dogs have a tendency to become overly excited or frustrated about certain situations. When a dog gets excited about something but is unable to attain the object of his excitement, he may become aggressive out of frustration.
There are many reasons why a dog might exhibit aggressive behavior. A dog may become aggressive for different reasons at different times. In order to properly deal with each situation, take the time to observe your dog to determine the reason for his aggression. Once you are able to identify the reason, remove the trigger, and your dog’s aggressive behavior would stop.