19 September 2022
Aggressive behaviors such as snarling and biting are common fears people have regarding dogs. It is also one of the reasons people are hesitant to own one—what if you cannot control your dog? What if they attack even you, their owner?
Fortunately, there are ways to curb disobedience and aggression. It always comes down to understanding your pet and mapping the causes as to why they behave the way they do. So, here are a few things you can do if your dog is aggressive:
Before anything else, rule out possible medical causes of aggressive behavior. Your dog could be suffering an illness that results in unwanted behavior, so take a trip to the veterinary and see if your dog is undergoing any physiological issues.
The first step must always be to check if underlying internal conditions cause aggression. Your veterinarian could prescribe the appropriate medications to respond to such. It includes treatment for illness or injury, as well as anti-anxiety medicine.
If there are no problems with your dog physically, then focus on proper care and upbringing. Avoid responding to aggression with hostility, and do not severely punish your dog for bad behavior. Do not point, yell, or throw items at them because chances are you will only aggravate the unwanted behavior.
Domineering and controlling behavior is also ineffective in curbing aggression. Reinforcing rules with fear and punishments only worsen the undesirable and does not teach the desirable. So be kind and gentle to your furry friend!
Enforcing good behavior through rewards is vital in raising a happy and well-mannered dog. In fact, dogs under rewards-based training are more obedient than dogs trained with punishments. Fear is indeed an overrated motivator!
Teaching your dog that certain behaviors will be rewarded with treats will help them associate such actions with being positive and desirable. They will then be encouraged to act that way more frequently. So focus on positive association and teachings, not on fear and punishments.
If the environment affects the cognition and behavior of humans, what more with dogs? It is crucial to raise your furry friend in a non-threatening and gentle environment to avoid aggression and unwanted behavior, so enhance their living conditions as much as possible. Do not foster an environment wherein they are always in survival mode!
Make sure that your dog is fed well and on time. Go on walks and let them socialize with other dogs. Always dedicate time to play and make them feel loved and cared for. More importantly, avoid stressors from noises such as firecrackers and explosives. Do not let strangers invade your dog’s space because it may elicit anxiety and aggression.
Dogs become aggressive when they feel scared or threatened. Often, it is only a defense mechanism in stressful situations. To appropriately respond to aggressive behavior, look further into the points discussed above and raise your dog with patience, resolve, and the love and care they deserve.