If your pet dog is getting aggressive towards those who are close to you, then you should not ignore the situation. Even though dogs are naturally wild, the uncontrolled aggressive behavior is unsafe in any pet and may cause severe harm.
Aggression is the result of trauma, stress, anxiety or a combination of any of these. Dogs instinctively take strange things as threatening, so a dog needs to be flexible and be made quick to adapt to new things and new situations.
The good news is that you can teach your dog how to get familiar with people he sees as strangers.
In my previous article, I have covered how to calm an aggressive dog and I have also shown a video of my friend, Doggy Dan, did it on the spot. You can check out the article here, How To Calm An Aggressive Dog.
Genetics plays a significant factor in the dog’s capability to be flexible and to quickly blend to new things. But a dog’s ability to quickly adapt to new things is not all there is that makes up a well-behaved pet.
Knowing why a dog becomes hostile can give you a clue as to what step you should take to take the dog back to its usual loving self.
If your dog becomes aggressive or suffers destructive behavioral problems, it is because you do not know how to take care and deal with your dog.
The Online Dog Trainer is an online dog training course that offers hundreds of videos tutorials and how to handle difficult behavioral issues such as dog aggression.
Once you have learned how to fix aggression, trust me, you build a better relationship with your dog.
Treating Dog Aggression Towards Strangers
Dog aggression to humans could be caused by an underlying problem that needs the intervention of a professional behaviorist.
This behavior needs to be arrested at the earliest possible time to prevent your dog getting into trouble which will undoubtedly involve you.
Behaviorists try to find out the causes or the contributing factors that make a dog aggressive, and try to treat the dog with a process called desensitization.
This process involves the correct identification of the factors that prompts cause the dog to act aggressively.
Once these factors are identified, the experts will carefully pair these with positive responses so that the dog can connect these with pleasant experiences.
At this point, you should know that this is a painstakingly slow process that needs to be practiced with consistency, patience, and keen observation.
To facilitate a gradual transition to your dog’s behavior, do not expose it to situations that had been known to trigger its aggressiveness; such as bringing it in the presence of children if it is uncomfortable or uneasy with kids.
This has to be done gradually, and keen observation is needed to be sure that your pet has adapted itself to the situation.
An aggressive dog needs to social with other people and dogs to feel comfortable and calm. It will take time and patience, but even violently aggressive dogs can be turned into good canine citizens in most cases.
To do this, you need to enroll the dog in an obedience class and make sure the person conducting the class understands your dog’s aggression problem.
Watch how Doggy Dan calmed his client’s dog with just 3 simple steps. I have covered this free video on my previous post. Check it out HERE.
Learning to obey basic commands is a good way to bring the dog under control in other situations. Take the dog to an area where it will be exposed to people and keep it to the side. Teach your dogs basic commands such as ‘come’ or ‘sit’ will help too.
As the owner of a dog, you play a crucial role in the dog’s upbringing. If you notice any signs of aggression, you must deal with these and not wait until hostility becomes a real concern.
Put your dog on a leash and keep it away from other people if you feel it will become aggressive. Don’t endanger others, and deal with your dog’s issues.
Ask the help of a professional dog trainer and make sure you explain all the situations in which your dog shows signs of aggression.
Avoid these situations until your coach has managed to train your dog to respond positively to these concerning factors. Don’t punish your dog just because it is aggressive.
Remember that dog aggression is a natural behavior for your pet and you cannot punish it for being what it is.
Answering aggression with aggression is the worst thing you can do, and it won’t help. Also, your dog can become more aggressive and even bite or show disrespect towards your authority.
How to Prevent the Problem
Even experts cannot guarantee that dog aggression can be removed at all times, but they are sure that it can be avoided through responsible pet ownership. Some of the approaches are:
1. Socialize the puppy at 12 to 14 weeks old;
2. Make the puppy accustomed to human touch;
3. Treat your pet with respect and kindness. Acknowledge its positive behaviors to encourage it;
4. If it’s okay on your part, neuter your dog; this will make them tamer and even tempered.
5. Use your body language and show your dog that you are the leader in charge. Watch this VIDEO to understand fully how to do this.
Heredity plays a role in a dog’s aggressive behavior, especially for some breeds. But for most dogs, this behavior is an acquired characteristic.
Early socialization can prevent this. For mature dogs that manifest this behavior, a behaviorist should be consulted so that proper steps can be undertaken to solve the problem.