Dog Aggression

Dog Aggression

Have you ever wondered what causes your dog’s aggressive behavior?  Well,  like humans, dogs have off days and their behavior can change for no apparent reason.  As a dog owner it’s important that you know why this behavioral change occurs.

Experts say that dog behavior can be controlled through proper training which is certainly true in many cases, but dog behavior is actually triggered by environmental and social factors. So, in order to train your dog’s aggressive behavior, you need to control the responses to the triggers. Let’s explore a few of the methods:

Statistics show that almost 5 million people in the U.S. are the victims of dog bites annually. This is almost 2% of the total population in the U.S. Furthermore,, dog bite cases rank as the second most common cause of hospital emergencies.

So, the question is: Why do dogs bite?

According to the experts, the main reasons why dogs may bite, or show other aggressive behavior signs are the following:

1. Excitement

When somebody plays with his or her dog, the tendency of the dog is to get excited, and because dogs don’t have hands to use when playing, they use their mouth to grasp things. When this happens, there is the tendency that the dog might accidentally hurt people without intending to do anything harmful.

2. Protection

Dogs can be very possessive, so, whenever he wants to protect something that he believes that he owns, he will bite whoever threatens to take it away from him. Hence, when people get near the dog’s property, the dog’s tendency is to bite to make the person leave his property alone.

3. Pain

When the dog is not feeling well, he does not understand why he is feeling that way. Therefore, when a person, even if it’s his master, touches him, he may think that it’s the person who causes the pain and so his tendency is to fight back by biting.

4. Fear

Dogs are sometimes afraid just like humans. That is why when somebody startles him, the dog’s only known protection for itself is to bite.

You need to be able to recognize which of these situations is the current one.  If it’s the excitement scenario, stop playing immediately, and use the “stop” or “no” command which you will surely have taught your dog. You may want to use this opportunity to teach him “gently” as well.

If it’s the protection reaction, is your dog protecting you? If he doesn’t need to, you need to calm him and tell the threatening person to move away. If he does need to protect you, then let him. If it’s a toy which someone is trying to take from him, then you need to use the “leave” or “drop” command.

Finally, if pain or fear is the cause of your dog’s aggressive behavior, again calming is necessary but if your dog is in pain, you should take him to the vet immediately.  If your dog is just having an off day, then leave him alone. Surely you don’t always want to be talking to people, so why should your dog?

If you’re unsure how to train your dog then clicker training is a good method.   Visit this website to find out about Clicker training – the 4 Secrets of Becoming a Supertrainer.

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