Dog Aggression issues? Read our Top 10 Solutions!

Published by , 22nd January 2017 in Dog Training

Dog Aggression Training – How to deal with Aggressive Dogs Dog Aggression issues? Read our Top 10 Solutions! Dog Training

You may have heard the saying that a dog’s bark is worse than its bite, but the sights and sounds of a barking, snapping dog can still be very frightening. Many dog owners experience problems with dog aggression and, unfortunately, they often go about treating it the wrong way.

Before you can start dealing with your dog’s aggressive behavior, you need to understand it. Why does your dog act that way? What are his triggers? What is your dog telling you? Once you understand the answers to these basic questions, you can begin to deal with the problem.

Below you will find the top 10 reasons why your dog might be acting aggressively toward other dogs and people. I’ll also suggest the best ways to fixing the problem.

Before we start, I recommend watching this quick video. The Online Dog Trainer explains simple techniques that you can start applying right now. And you can watch other videos on his page.

Top 10 Reasons and Solutions for Dog acting aggressively

1. Dog is afraid

Nine times out of ten, this is the reason or at least one contributing reason to a dog acting aggressively toward a person or animal.

It may not look like it, but when your dog becomes aggressive toward other dogs or people, it is most likely that he is afraid and his aggression is simply a defensive mechanism.

Most of the items on this list are going to have the same fix for the root cause of the problem.

Solution: In this case, as in many others, the best solution is going to be exposure to these things that frighten him and show him that there is nothing to fear. We call this socialization in this case. Expose your dog to other people and animals, slowly at first, until he gets accustomed to these experiences and begins to relax around them.

2. Dog is being defensive

Dogs that act aggressively out of fear often resort to defensive aggression in the hopes of deterring the threat before it can attack.

Most people are very large compared to your dog. Other dogs can be rather intimidating as well. If your dog is acting aggressively to an adult or larger dog it could mean that he is just trying to show a potential threat that he will protect himself.

Solution: Again, slow exposure is the key to getting him over this and letting him know that these usually aren’t threats. Know that aggression from your dog can cause another to act in the same manner, so setting up a play date with another dog to get him over it may take a long time.

3. Dog is being protective

Dogs can become very protective of their families and other family pets sometimes to the point where they become aggressive in defending them against perceived threats. Like the point above he wants to warn the potential threat that he will fight to protect you.

Solution: Fortunately, this one is easier to overcome. If your dog is barking or snapping at people to protect you, you can show them that they are not a threat by simply being friendly toward this other person. Your dog will quickly learn that the perceived threat is actually a friend.

4. Dog is protecting his territory

Male dogs are especially prone to territorial behaviors, such as urine marking. Female dogs typically don’t have this problem. If another dog or person comes into the dog’s perceived territory, your dog may regard it as a threat.

Solution: Unfortunately a little more difficult to get over, it’s best to make this situation easier to avoid. If your dog is well trained he will not be marking his territory inside your home and will not attack those you invite in.

Out in the yard may be a different story, so try to keep your dog in the backyard where he is less likely to interact with passerby. Otherwise when out on a walk don’t let him pee where you are likely to run into others on another visit.

5. The Dog is protecting his possessions

Like people, dogs have their favorite possessions as well. If you came across someone towing your car away you are likely to get pretty angry too, and dogs are certainly less rational than you are.

Dogs may sometimes become very possessive of certain toys, objects or even their food. And in some cases, they may become aggressive about it, barking or snapping at people or other pets that try to take it away.

Solution: Have them simply get used to it. Give them a toy in the afternoon and take it away every night before bed. He may not ever like it, but he will eventually get over it and become much calmed when you remove his toys.

6. Dog may be redirecting his aggression

Sometimes when a dog feels threatened by any of the things on this list, but cannot physically address the threat for one reason or another, he may redirect his aggression to the nearest person or other dogs instead.

It’s not unlike a person. When someone gets mad and the situation never gets resolved they will often carry that with them and take it out in some other way. A dog is no different in this instance.

7. Dog is asserting himself as the leader

Many dogs, for one reason or another, desire to be the alpha dog. Dogs naturally form a hierarchy when they live in groups, and sometimes it is necessary for the leader of the pack to assert his dominance, reminding the others of their place in the pack.

Solution: In a typical hierarchy there is the leader and then everyone else. The simplest way to prevent your dog from acting out for this position is to simply show that you are in charge. This is usually the first step in any training regimen. Simply don’t show any fear to your dog, even when he barks or snaps and he will get the idea.

You can download our eBooks “How to be the Alpha Dog and Stop Your Dog’s Behavior Problems” and “How to Stop the 10 Most Common Dog Obedience Problems” to help you (there is a link at the end of the article).

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8. Dog may be overly excited or frustrated

Some dogs have a tendency to become over excited or frustrated about certain situations. If something he wants is just out of reach this can lead to frustration, which is the primary reason you don’t want to tease your dog with treats.

Solution: Teach him the wait command for him to learn patience. If you are play wrestling with your dog he can get a little carried away and begin biting hard or vocalizing. That is a good time to stop the activity and never reward your dog after he’s done something you don’t like.

9. Dog is in pain

It can be difficult to tell when your dog is in pain because he cannot tell you. You simply have to be observant toward any unusual movements or acting out of the ordinary.

Solution: Consider a doggy massage, which is an excellent method of learning when something is or is not normal with your dog. At any rate, when a dog is experiencing pain, he is more likely to act aggressively to deter people and other dogs from approaching. This is simply a natural defensive act that shouldn’t even necessarily be discouraged. If he’s wounded away from you or other helpful people it will help him keep away legitimate threats.

10. Dog may be competing for a female dog

As with many animal species, when a female goes into heat, males tend to compete for her attention and for the privilege of mating with her.

Solution: The best way to prevent this sort of aggression is to have your male dog neutered.

Conclusion on Dog Aggression

There are many reasons why a dog might exhibit aggressive behavior, and one dog may become aggressive for different reasons at different times than others.

In order to properly handle the situation, you should take the time to observe your dog in order to determine what is causing his aggression.

Once you identify the reason, remove the trigger, and your dog’s aggressive behavior should diminish.

If you like video training lessons, you can watch more videos here:

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If you prefer reading, you can download our eBooks below.

Happy Dog Training!