Do you plan on bringing home a new pup? Surely, you have heard of first-time owners having difficulty managing their pet’s behaviour. Aggression is natural in most animals. However, this does not mean that it should be ignored.

As a matter of fact, dog aggression training has become a sought-after solution for owners with canines that have serious behavioural issues. To gain a better understanding of this matter, you have to first know what aggression is – in terms of animal psychology.

What Is Dog Aggression?

This term may refer to a wide range of behavioural traits seen in all dog breeds. Each has a significant reason and circumstance. Innately, untamed animals tend to be aggressive as a form of defence against intruders and for their offspring.

Animals that live together in groups, including dogs, can also use aggression to maintain peace and to convey social interaction. Nonetheless, to say that a dog is aggressive may mean a lot of things. Aggressive comportment encompasses a wide range of behaviours that begin as warnings and end in attacks.

The following gestures and habits may exhibit a sequence of intense aggression:

  • Siccaro icon Rigid stance or a standstill
  • Siccaro icon Threatening guttural bark
  • Siccaro icon Sudden charging or lunging movement towards a target
  • Siccaro icon Mouthing
  • Siccaro icon Muzzle punching
  • Siccaro icon Growling
  • Siccaro icon Baring teeth
  • Siccaro icon Snarling
  • Siccaro icon Snapping
  • Siccaro icon Quick nips and bites
  • Siccaro icon Bites that cause deep wounds and bruising
  • Siccaro icon Repeated bites
  • Siccaro icon Intense bite and shake

However, this does not mean that dogs follow a sequence. Oftentimes, they may do several of the aforementioned almost simultaneously. Take note of the above for hints when your pup is about to attack.

Aggressive Behaviour Classified

Canines may become aggressive because of situations that may aggravate them, either physiological or environmental. This is why it is important to evaluate what caused the aggression and how it happened.

Learn the answers first before assuming anything. This will give you a clear understanding of the situation so that you can help your dog in the right way.

In dog aggression training, behavioural problems are classified differently. This will enable pet owners and behaviourists to assess the pup’s behaviour and provide a viable solution.

Territorial

Naturally, dogs are territorial creatures. Descended from wolves, your canine is built to protect and defend its living space. Hence, aggression towards strangers and other animals may become apparent. Although puppies do not usually display such behaviour, territorial aggression may appear as the pup matures to adolescence and into adulthood.

Protective

Dogs can become aggressive when threatened and scared. A natural defence mechanism, these social creatures will risk its life just to protect its offspring and other members of its pack – including you.

Possessive

Ancient canines tend to compete for food sources and nesting sites in order to survive. This may have been translated into modern dogs as guarding possessions have become a common behavioural trait. They may become possessive towards food and material possessions, such as toys and beds.

Speaking of beds, make sure that your dog has a comfortable place to lay. It has to be dry and made from organic materials. The Siccaro FlexDog Mat is a perfect choice. Organic, lightweight, and cosy, the mat provides a warm and comfortable place for your dog. Its outer layer is made of non-toxic, organic bamboo that prevents bad odours.

Fear

It is also natural for animals to become defensive when scared. Known as the flight response, scared pups may attack a threat when there is no escape. This is common throughout doggy age groups.

Defensive

This may somehow be related to fear aggression. However, the main difference is in how the dog reacted. Those that are defensively aggressive will display both fearful and defensive stances. And they would initially charge the target first and then abort when the threat retreats. This aggressive behaviour indicates confidence and is usually seen in adult canines.

Social

Otherwise known as status-seeking or dominance aggression, this is common in dogs as they are social animals, to begin with. They adopt a hierarchical order as a group and therefore is in a constant struggle for control. On the other hand, this behaviour can also be triggered by actions that dogs perceive as intimidating or unpleasant. This is most common in male dogs than females though.

Frustration-Elicited

Just like little kids, dogs may lash out when frustrated. Restraining pups with leashes, crates, cages, and gates frequently may trigger such bad behaviour. So keep those in moderation.

Redirected

Somewhat like frustration-driven aggression, this happens when an agitated dog redirected its aggression towards someone or something else that interferes. This could be another hound, an animal, or even you. Redirected aggression may occur in both adults and puppies.

Pain

It is important to take precautions when handling injured or hurt animals. This aggression may simply be a reaction towards pain. On the other hand, improper use of negative reinforcement such as shock collars and a pinch or prong collars may only worsen bad behaviour.

Sex-Related

Male dogs, especially those seeking the attention of a female in heat, may become aggressive towards each other. Bloody fights may erupt, particularly in households with more than a single male dog.

Predatory

Chasing and grabbing dogs display a predatory instinct. This usually becomes apparent when pups chase people, bicycles, and cars. Different than other classifications of aggression, this behaviour rarely shows warning signs such as growling. Hence, it is crucial to be wary when a human baby is around.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Training dangerous dogs are never easy. As they usually say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Hence, it is important to start as early as possible.

The following questions are commonly asked by new and old pet parents:

  • Siccaro icon Can a dangerous dog change its behaviour?

    There are numerous factors that you must take into consideration when treating bad behaviour. This includes age, built, bite history, the severity of the problem, predictability, triggers, targets, and ease in motivating your dog.

    These factors should help you gauge the probability of success in training. Pups that are predictable and controllable have more chances of changing. But this does not mean that those with serious problems could not. Every dog deserves a chance.

  • Siccaro icon Is it a huge risk to have a dangerous dog around children and old people?

    Prioritise the safety and protection of children and older people. If you think you have adopted an easily agitated dog. Make sure that it is away from the elderly as a simple nip may inflict a deep wound in their delicate skin. Small children are at risk too as they can easily be overpowered by larger dogs. Furthermore, their faces are also at mouth level for a lot of dogs.

  • Siccaro icon Is aggression the same in all breeds? Which breeds are more dangerous?

    It may sound true that there are dog breeds that have been specialised in hunting, guarding, and protecting. But this does not mean that a certain breed is far more dangerous than another.

    The breed is never the basis for aggression. A dog’s unique individual temperament and history is the only predictor.

How to Train Dangerous or Aggressive Dogs

Dog aggression training requires a lot of patience and hard work to be a success.

  • Siccaro icon Dog aggression training requires a lot of patience and hard work to be a success.
  • Siccaro icon As much as possible, have your dog spayed or neutered. This can lessen aggressiveness. However, you must seek veterinarian advice first before letting your furry friend undergo such a surgical procedure.
  • Siccaro icon Make sure that your dog gets its routine vet visits always. Illnesses and other medical issues may trigger aggression as your dog is feeling discomfort and pain.
  • Siccaro icon Take obedience training classes and bring your dog along with you. There are tons of organisations that offer such and can help you a lot.
  • Siccaro icon Maintain a calm and anxiety-free environment for your pet.
  • Siccaro icon Modify your dog’s surroundings. As much as possible, install baby gates and confine the dog to a less crowded area when it is triggered by people. Crate training can also do wonders.
  • Siccaro icon Learn counter conditioning and behavioural training. This may require you to do an extensive research on canine behaviour and such. But it will be worth every minute.

Keep in mind

Prior to adopting or acquiring a pure or a mix breed dog, make sure that you research on the breed and take note of the temperament and behaviour. This will give you an overview of what to expect so you can gauge its compatibility with your lifestyle and preferences.

Moreover, you have control over parts of the prognosis. Hence, you must be willing to work with canine behaviourists to ensure success in aggression training.

 
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