Dealing with Aggressive Dogs

Aggressive dogs can be a huge problem for their owners. In the wild dogs had a natural aggressive nature, this helped them to defend their territory, hunt and repel other animals. Selective breeding has managed to eradicate a lot of this aggression in dogs, but they remain an animal that is capable of inflicting a serious bite on anyone they may take a dislike to.

Aggressive dogs can become very nervous around strangers. The dog will act as though he's very suspicious. Constantly alert and watching the object of his suspicion intently. He may bark constantly or on the other hand may sit very still, waiting for any movement or threat from the stranger.

Aggression in dogs can manifest itself in many ways, but two of the main reasons are ill treatment and lack of socialization.

Ill treatment speaks for itself but dogs that havn't been socialized as a pup can react like this. They've never had the experience of mixing with other people so they become suspicious or fearful of anyone they don't recognize.

Socializing your dog means exposing him from a young age to a wide variety of new experiences, new people, and new animals. It's difficult to overemphasize just how important this is.

When you socialize your dog, you're getting him to learn through experience that new sights and sounds are fun, and nothing to be frightened about. He has to learn this for himself, and he needs to do it from being a pup for the lessons to sink in.

If you can get your dog to be in the company of many types of people and animals, for example babies, toddlers, teenagers, old people, men, women, people wearing uniforms, people wearing motorcycle helmets, people carrying umbrellas, etc in a fun and relaxed context, the more at ease and happy and safe around strangers he'll become.

Aggressive dogs can be a huge problem in the home if that aggression is directed towards members of the family.

Overly-possessive behavior is common in dogs and refers to a dog that regards some things as his own and becomes very aggressive if he feels any of his possessions are about to be taken from him. Usually this will involve food or a toy but sometimes any old innocuous piece of rubbish.

There is a dominance issue at work here. 

Dominance and Aggressive Dogs

To your dog, the family environment is no different to the dog-pack environment. Your dog has ranked each member of the family, and has his own perception of where he ranks in that environment as well.

Your dog must understand his place in the pack or family. You must show your dog that you are the alpha dog, the leader of the pack.

To explain further, if your dog realises he is not the alpha dog in the pack, he'd never even think of trying to prevent you from taking his food or toys. As a lower ranking dog, he will always bow to the decision of the alpha, or highest ranking member of the pack.

The best treatment for dominant, aggressive dogs is consistent, frequent obedience work, which will underline your authority over your dog. Just two fifteen-minute sessions a day will make it perfectly clear to your dog that you're the boss.

For more information on handling aggressive and dominant behaviors, as well as a great deal of detailed information on a host of other common dog behavior problems, Click Here.

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