There are several reasons behind aggressive behavior in dogs. It can be the result of a dominance issue between the dog and you or it can be initiated by an event that was never correctly handled since puppyhood like an aggression from an other dog. So no matter what the cause of your dog’s aggression is, you must deal with it the soonest possible. If no action is taken, the outcome of prolonged aggression might not only become scary but also dangerous.
The Source of Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
Aggressive behavior in dogs can begin as early as the age of 6 weeks. A puppy at this critical age should have received training in order to socialize with other dogs and to avoid biting people. This socialization period can usually go on until the dog reaches 14 weeks or can even last longer.
This implies many things. To begin, never separate a puppy from his litter before he is 8 weeks of age. Never apply ruthless discipline when a puppy is between 8 to 10 weeks old but take care to treat the dog gently during that period. Over time, severe punishments, hitting or even yelling at an early age can raise aggressive behavior in dogs.
When a dog is 14 weeks old, he must be sociable with people and other dogs in order not to run into potential aggressive issues.
Authentic aggression can be caused by many factors like heredity or genes – there are breeds that can become more aggressive than others – but don’t take this as a strict rule. Also neutered or spayed dogs have usually less aggressive tendencies.
But beyond a doubt, the main reason for aggressive behavior in dogs comes from their environment. A dog that has been terrified or attacked by other dogs, with bad living conditions, cruel owners or lack of socialization can more likely lead him to be aggressive in the future.
The need to establish the hierarchy structure of a pack can build up aggression. Aggressive dispositions like biting or posturing can frequently be a sign of a domination test. Dominance will need to be established very early between you and your puppy and you should keep this position through all your dog’s adolescence to make sure not to give him the ability to take control of the house.
Stopping and Controlling Aggressive Behavior in Dogs
When your dog reaches sexual maturity, after 14 months of age, and shows some aggressive behavior, particularly when it’s been altered, it is imperative that you immediately take in hand the problem. Always make certain that your dog understands that you are the pack leader and never reward him for his aggressive attitude especially if he is frightened.
By training your dog to respond to your commands, controlling walking and feeding times and by ensuring that the dog recognizes you as a solid leader at home, you will have taken serious options against aggressive behavior in dogs. But as soon as you comply with your dog or let him have liberties, he will show tougher aggression to others.
When dogs are being aggressive as an expression of defense, they may attack a person by fear. It is possible that these dogs have been incorrectly socialized and you should keep them away from little children as they may consider them as direct threats.
Even if aggressive behavior in dogs represents a serious problem for many dog owners it can be restrained even at older ages. If your dog aggression evolves into violence you may have to think about consulting a professional trainer before it ends up with injuries and your dog will be held responsible.