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Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Aggressive behavior in dogs

There are various reasons for aggressive behavior in dogs. It could be as a result of a dominance related situation between you and your dog, or it may be a trigger that was never correctly handled from puppyhood – for example an attack by another dog.

My recommended dog training guide to help you deal with dog aggression problems is:

Secrets to Dog Training

However, no matter what is triggering your dog’s aggression, you have to tackle it as quickly as possible. The results of prolonged aggression can be not just frightening, but also dangerous if not quickly brought under control.

The Fundamental Cause of Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Dog aggression can begin as early as six weeks of age, an important age when a puppy ought to be socialized with other dogs and given the appropriate training that prevents them from biting other people. This period of socialization continues until the dog turns 14 weeks old and may extend even further beyond that.

This means a number of things. To start with, you should never take a puppy away from his litter before eight weeks of age. Never ever use tough discipline with the puppy between eight and ten weeks of age and ensure the dog is very carefully taken care of during that period. Hitting, shouting or other sorts of harsh punishments at an early age may produce aggression in dogs later.

A dog will need to have been adequately socialized with humans as well as other dogs by the time he is 14 weeks old to prevent any future aggression problems.

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Actual aggression can be brought on by a variety of factors. Heredity and genetic makeup are definitely factors – some dog breeds can be more aggressive than others – however it is in no way a hard and fast rule. Furthermore, dogs that have not been spayed or neutered tend to be more likely to exhibit aggressive traits.

Undoubtedly, however, the main factor in producing aggressive behavior in dogs is their environment. A dog which has bad living conditions, cruel masters, no socialization, or that's been scared or attacked by another dog is much more apt to be aggressive as it matures.

Aggression may develop from the necessity to establish a pack pecking order. Biting, posturing, along with other aggressive behaviors will often be caused by a dog testing for dominance. It's important to establish dominance at a young age and hold that position during the dog’s adolescence to make sure he doesn't have an opportunity to take control of the household.

Preventing and Controlling Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Should your dog exhibit aggressive behavior after 14 months of age, once he has reached sexual maturity, and especially once he has been neutered, you need to deal with the problem right away. First of all, be sure you have established yourself as the pack leader. Never reward your dog for aggressive behavior, even if he is afraid (especially in this instance).

Train your dog to respond to your commands, control feeding and walking times, and ensure your dog has a strong leader in the home. When you defer to your dog or let him take liberties in your household, he is going to exhibit stronger aggression towards other people.

If your dog is defensive-aggressive, he might strike out at a person out of fear. Such dogs might not have been correctly socialized. Keep them clear of young children (which they might view as direct threats) and also go to a training session or behaviorist who is able to gradually acclimatize the dog to a social environment.

Dog aggression is a problem many dog owners have, however it can be handled, even as your dog gets older. In case your dog’s aggression ever develops into violence, you should consider getting a professional to intervene before somebody gets injured and your dog is held responsible.

Again, my recommended guide for stopping aggressive behavior in your dog is Secrets to Dog Training.

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