Ultimate Guide: How to Stop Dog Aggression in 4 Steps – Healthy Pet Systems

Ever been bitten by an aggressive dog?

That bite hurts! One of the most common behaviors found in the majority of the dogs is aggression. This is a serious condition that affects most dogs.

This article is created to be a helpful guide and here you will see:

  • How to control dog aggression?
  • How to correct dog aggression?
  • How to stop dog aggression?
  • How to handle dog aggression?
  • How to stop dog food aggression?
  • How to stop dog aggression towards people?
  • How to stop dog aggression towards other dogs?

Note! When a dog is aggressed, it starts acting up weirdly and it is up to you to notice the abnormal behaviors, your dog adopts. This is one of the reasons why, the majority of pet owners, look for help from professionals such as;

  • Behaviorists
  • Veterinarians
  • Trainers.

Essentially, most of the wild animals become aggressive when provoked. The species of animals which don’t live alone but in groups, such as the dogs, make use of aggression to ensure that there is peace and to confer some of the interactions they have socially. The wild animals mostly get aggressive for two major reasons;

  1. Protecting their territories
  2. Safeguarding their territories.

A dog that is aggressed, displays various characters, which at the start are like warnings. These warnings then turn from being just warnings to attacks. A dog that shows aggressiveness to other people portrays some of the following behaviors;

  • It becomes rigid.
  • “Muzzle punch” It can punch you with its nose.
  • It can bite you…
  • It lunges forward. It can also charge at you without making any contacts.
  • Mouthing, as if it’s moving or controlling you. It doesn’t have to apply any pressure.
  • The dog can bite and also shake. The bite can be so quick that it can tear your skin.
  • The dog’s bite can be with so much pressure that it can lead to a bruise.
  • The dog also produces a sound that can be frightening, which is also known as guttural bark.
  • The dog also growls.
  • It snarls. It is combined when the dog growls and shows its teeth at the same time.
  • The dog snaps.
  • Quick nip that makes no mark
  • When a dog is aggressed, it shows teeth.
  • It can make continuous bites in a succession that is rapid.

Many are the times when the pet owners don’t notice some of these signs before the dog bites. Most of them think that the dog is just erupting, but that is not usually what it is. The time between the dogs’ warning and a bite happens at a lightning speed. It is very seldom for a dog to bite without first showing some warning signs.

The Classification of an Aggressive Behavior

The Classification of an Aggressive BehaviorIn case your dog has ever been aggressive at any one time or maybe you think that it might become aggressive at some point, you should examine the situations that may have made it become angry. To get the root cause, you can try and get answers to the following;

  • Who or what made the dog become aggressive?
  • Where did this occur?
  • When was it?
  • What was happening at that particular time?
  • What had happened to the dog before the occurrence?
  • What made the dog to stop its aggression?

Getting answers to these questions will help you discover what it is exactly, that had happened to your dog to get that reaction. This diagnosis is helpful before you decide on the next step to take.

Aggression in dogs can be categorized in various ways. Getting to understand the cause of the aggression depends on two things;

  • The function of the aggression
  • The purpose of the aggression

Based on those two factors you can get to know the real reason as to why the dog is provoked to become aggressive. This can also help you to understand what the dog needs to get from that kind of behavior.

Types of Aggression in Dogs

Types of Aggression in Dogs
1. Territorial Aggression
The relatives of wild dogs are mostly territorial. These dogs live in specific areas and they protect their homes from any intruders.

The wolves too are regional. In case a wolf that does not belong to a certain pack and decides to raid any of the territories, that belong to others, the owners of that territory attack and dismisses it with immediate effect.

The same case applies to other dogs. You will find the dogs barking at others…

  1. animals or
  2. even people

…when they impinge their place. This way, many people value dogs because, of their jurisdictional behavior. Other dogs do not only bark when they see an intruder, they also attack and can even bite them. It does not matter if the trespasser is an enemy or a friend.

This kind of aggression happens on the boundaries mostly. The area around the property of parents of the pet is watched by a dog. There are some dogs that portray this kind of aggression only to the people that are approaching their home.

Territorial aggression is susceptible to both the mature male and female dogs. The puppies are not territorial. When the puppies start approaching adolescence, they also start becoming territorial. This happens between the ages of 1-3 years.

2. Possessive Aggression
It is believed that in the ancient day’s dogs evolved from harsh environments and realities. They had to fight for food, sites for nesting and even mates. Pet dogs are lucky to be living in times when everything is in plenty. However, they still like protecting everything that belongs to them. It does not matter if they need that thing or not. Other dogs only mind about their food, who wouldn’t it anyway? These kinds of dogs can be very aggressive if anyone tries to come close to their food. Even coming close to them as they are eating might be an issue. There are those that protect their;

  • Chew Bones
  • Toys
  • Stolen items.

Other dogs protect their homes and their places of resting. You will also find others protecting the beds of their owners! Very few dogs protect their water bowls. It is easy to note a dog that is possessive. This dog will show some aggression signs when it has a thing that it wants. You will even find a dog hiding some of the items it adores from either other animals or even people. These people might not even have a clue that, that item is even valuable.

Possessive aggression is liable to both male and female dogs. The puppies too can have this aggression.

3. Defensive Aggression
This type of aggression is somehow the same as fear aggression. The difference between the two is brought by the way the dog arrogates its techniques. The dogs that have defensive aggression are inspired by fear. However, they do not retreat but instead; they opt for the offense as their best strategy for defense. Therefore, the dogs with this kind of aggression can show both…

  • fear and
  • postures

…related to the offense. This aggression causes dogs to charge at people or animals that scare them. They can bark or growl. It does not matter if the victim freaks out or makes the first reaction; the dog will make sure it gives its first strike.
The only time the dog can set back from its attack is after the victim backs down. Defensive aggression is susceptible to both male and female dogs. Puppies do not often have this aggression compared to the adults because they lack enough confidence.

4. Protective Aggression
In case dogs are left all alone, you will find them living in groups and packs made of friends and families. They have always been social animals. In case a member of a pack is not safe, the members of the group or friends run to help out to defend it.
This is the kind of protection aggression that dogs have. Even the pets can have an aggressive character when they have a thought that one of the members of their family is in jeopardy. The family member can be another:

  • animal or
  • a human being.

When a dog lacks protective aggression, it is likely not to show any kind of this behavior even when it gets its own puppies. In addition, it can also show some protective aggression in case its parents add a human kid in the family.
This might seem very cute but it might be dangerous after the dog starts showing this aggression to everyone else who appears as a threat to the well-being of this child. Protective aggression is prone to female and male dogs. Puppies only become prone to this aggression when they get older and become adults.

5. Fear Aggression
During the times when we are afraid of something, we try to avoid it right? This also happens to animals. This action is known as flight response. However, for animals mostly when escaping is not included as one of their options they opt to go for fighting in their defense. A dog can defend itself from that thing, it finds scary whether it is:

  • a person or
  • another animal.

It can also attack them if it sees as if that is the only action it can take. A dog that is fearful will tend to have postures and retreats showing fear. In case it feels as if it is being trapped, it then gets aggressive.
A dog can tremble at the thought of being punished but still attack anyone trying to scare them away. A fearful dog will run from a person or an animal that threatened to scare it but after you turn, it will run behind you and attack!
This is one of the reasons why you should not show your back to a dog that is fearful. This kind of aggression is distinguished by;

  • Bites
  • Swift nips

Such characteristics make a dog that is fearful want to bite and after biting, it runs off. A fearful dog doesn’t have to show the aggression signs such as showing teeth or growling. When a dog has fear aggression, it will only warn you through its posture and its strive to retreat.

Both male and female dogs are subject to fear aggression. The puppies too are prone to this kind of aggression even at their young age.

6. Social Aggression
Like we mentioned before, dogs are social animals. They mostly live in packs and have rules they have set, just like human beings. These rules help to reduce any disputes among the members of the group. For instance, canid species with the dog included have an order which enhances that the members of the group get:

  • good places of rest,
  • the best part of the food and
  • the chances to mate.

Therefore, instead of fighting for such opportunities, the dogs at the lower level first give the platform to the ones in the higher level to be done with their chance. The dogs with high status might tend to be more aggressive to keep reminding the rest of their positions.
Therefore, the relations between humans and such dogs may be a little bit complicated because these dogs may even display this kind of aggression towards the…

  • people it lives with and
  • the members of the families.

It is because of this, that a dog must be highly dependable with only one pet parent yet show some aggression to the kids in that family. Most of these dogs are welcoming until when you seem like you are stepping its boundaries.

A dog that is aggressive can be provoked by certain things that it sees as not pleasant. They include;

  • Lifting the dog up.
  • Taking away its chew bone, or toy
  • Hugging the dog or kissing it
  • Hitting or trying to hit the dog
  • Jerking on the leash of the dog’s leash
  • Trying to take its food away
  • Trying to reach over the dog
  • Going through a door while the dog is trying to do the same thing.
  • Keeping the dog from getting what it wants.
  • Trying to point your finger or any other thing at the dog
  • Disturbing it during its sleep.
  • Grooming it, bathing it, wiping its face
  • Scolding it
  • Manipulating it into a posture that seems manipulating.
  • Touching its ears or feet
  • Trimming its nails

Males are more prone to this kind of aggression than the females especially in the pure breeds compared to the mixed breeds. The puppies are not commonly socially aggressive to people. However, they can be aggressive to other animals.

How to Control Dog Aggression

How to Control Dog AggressionThe following are tips on how to control dog aggression;

  • Identify the cause of its aggression.
  • Try your best to avoid situations that trigger the aggression
  • Seek help from professionals.

Besides controlling the aggression, we are also going to find out other ways on how to correct dog aggression and how to handle dog aggression. Let’s learn more, shall we?

How to Correct Dog Aggression

How to Correct Dog Aggression

The following are the steps on how to correct dog aggression;

1. Neutering
In case the dog is male, you are supposed to restrict certain behavior through neutering him even before his sexual maturity stage. With this, the dog can avoid the aggression towards other dogs. This is a great step towards the correction.

2. Train the Dog from the Start
When the dogs are not treated right or trained well at a young age, they have issues after growing up. This is the same case with human beings. They can be aggressive to other dogs and human beings. The proper age to introduce puppies to their home is 7-8 weeks. The puppy should be socialized when it’s 14 weeks old. Good training fixes some of the signs of aggression.

3. Avoid Dominance
When the dog is growing up, it is good to rectify any behavior of dominance. Most dogs see humans as the same as them. This is why you will find them trying to challenge people in the family especially the children.

How to Handle Dog Aggression

How to Handle Dog Aggression
The tips on how to handle dog aggression are;

1. Formulate a Good Reinforcement Program
This should be accompanied by an obedience training program. You can reward the dog after it behaves well. This helps in the shaping of the proper behavior that you want your dog to have. The dog also gets to know how to react to some situations.

2. Do Not Get Physical
You are not supposed to apply any force to the dog. Other people use prong collars, chains for choking and shock collars. Most people think that they help but they actually only make the situation worse. Therefore, avoid using force.

3. Make Use of a Gentile Leader
This is the best for that have severe aggression issues. This guide helps the owner of the dog to completely have control over the dog. If you get your dog to obey, then you are on the right track of controlling its aggression.

How to Stop Dog Aggression

You can stop dog aggression by;

  • Seeking help from a profession
  • Getting to know the cause of the aggression
  • Avoiding the situations that cause the aggression

It is necessary to understand the root cause of the aggression behavior in your dog.

As we saw earlier on, the dog’s aggression could be provoked by many things such as food. The dog can also be aggressed to either people or other dogs. Therefore it is necessary to first understand the aggression of your dog.
Wondering how to stop food aggression? How to stop dog aggression towards people? How to stop dog aggression towards other dogs? Worry not; here is a short guide for you.

How to Stop Dog Food Aggression

Signs of food aggression include;

  1. Ears back
  2. The dog having shoulders that are stiff
  3. Wide eyes
  4. Snapping, growling, biting, attacking,
  5. Showing teeth.

So how do you do you stop food aggression?

1. Make the Dog Work for Its Food
You can have it run or walk before it gets its food. When preparing its food, have it seat down or lie, as it waits for its food to get ready. This forms security food. This will make the dog get that to get food you have to work for it.

2. Hand-feed the Dog
This helps to form a relationship between the provider of the food and the dog. You can also add some special treat for the dog on your hand. This forms a good interaction between you and the dog.

3. Upgrade its Food
This is a way of creating trust. It gets rid of the fear that is related to food. As the dog is eating, you can add another type of food. The dog will clearly see that you are not there to take its food away.

4. Cause an Interruption during Mealtime
This will be enough proof to the dog that it can leave the food without anyone having to steal it. For instance, after putting its food down, leave then call the dog back. After it comes, you can even add it some treat. After this have it go back to its food.
In just a few seconds you will see how to stop dog agression towards people.

How to stop Dog Aggression towards People

How to stop Dog Aggression towards People
1. Break the Stimulants Down
Have your dog socialize if at all it is aggressive to strangers. If the dog is aggressive to members of the family you can use a leash restraint. Have the dog meet new people, both adults, and kids. The best time to do this is when it’s 12-14 weeks old. Ensure you do not crowd it because this can stimulate its fear.

2. Control its Environment
In case the animal is frightened because of its surrounding such as children, you can keep it from them until it becomes used to them. Do not shout or hit it. This might trigger fear in it.

3. Make Use of Real-life Cases
For example, you can have your dog greet the people at the door. You can take the dog to places which can trigger its fear. However, make sure that you keep the dog on the leash till the dog becomes used to the environment.

4. Make the Obedience Training Lessons Brief
These lessons should be short to avoid boring the dog. They should also be consistent. After they are over, give the dog a special treat and an appraisal when it does as you command it to.

5. Seek Professional Help
If you use all the tips above and the dog doesn’t change, you can look for help from a professional. In case you don’t, the aggression can turn into deep problems.
Ok, now let’s see how to stop dog agression towards other dogs.

How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs

How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs
You do not have to punish the dog or scold it for being aggressive towards other dogs. Wondering which are the others that can help you on how to stop dog aggression towards other dogs? Here is a list of them.
1. Leash your Dog
You can also walk your dog to areas where it can meet other dogs. Give the dog some time to go and socialize with other dogs. However, make sure that you are able to confine just in case it becomes overly aggressive.
2. Isolate it if Need Be
Exposing some dogs to other dogs can cause stress. In such a case, you can isolate it from others to give it room for calming down.
3. Make Use of Commands
You can use commands such as ‘be good’ ‘calm down’ whenever you note that it has become aggressive. Such commands are helpful.
4. Reward it for Behaving Well

After it obeys you or behaves well, you can reward it by giving it a verbal appraisal or treating it with some nice meal. This will be proof to the dog that when it calms down, something good follows.

At the end of the day, dogs are amazing creatures to be around and more so to keep as pets. However, with their aggressive nature, it can be difficult to deal with them. The guide above can help you out if you have an aggressive dog. First, understand its type of aggression, the kind of warnings it shows and then you can know what to do and what kind of technique to administer. You should be very keen on every behavior of your dog. That is the only way you can know how best to help it.

About Author:

I'm a dog food judge. I specialize in examining dog food nutrition so that I can recommend you food that will preserve your dog's health and extend his life. Good food will help you prevent dog health problems like obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, nutritional imbalance, and many others. Also, by preventing serious illnesses you won't have to pay huge veterinarian bill later.

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