A warning growl from an animal guarding the territory entrusted to it or a person is fully justified and even commendable. But if similar behavior appears in relation to you as the owner, then you should seriously think about its causes. It is rather difficult to understand what to do in case of aggression in dogs – sometimes you have to contact a dog handler or veterinarian to solve a problem.
Common causes of aggressive behavior
There are many possible causes of aggression in dogs, but the most common can be divided into 3 large groups. These include:
1-Selection errors. Violation of the established rules and thoughtless crossing of incompatible breeds with various deviations lead to the creation of individuals with completely unpredictable behavior.
2-Wrong upbringing. Lack of timely socialization and good training, as well as too many indulgences, can turn into unpleasant consequences. A pet that does not feel the authority of the owner and does not know how to communicate with the outside world becomes uncontrollable.
3-Bad content. Life in an aviary or on a leash, excluding communication with other animals and people, negatively affects the psyche. Severe physical punishments applied for any offense have a similar effect.
Types of aggression in dogs and methods of eliminating them
Not only the reasons and objects of attacks differ, but also the signs of hostility. On the basis of these criteria, 11 types of aggression in dogs are distinguished, eliminated by different methods.
Often found in fighting and guard breeds due to the developed territorial and protective instinct. For an adequate perception of the situation, such animals must be trained from puppyhood. Otherwise, they will attack not only real offenders, but also:
-cats walking along the fence;
-neighbors who came to exchange a few words on your site;
-unexpectedly arrived friends;
-any people appearing outside the window.
If the aggressor calms down, finding itself not on its territory – teach it the security commands (“Voice”, “Guard”, “Alien”). With their help, you will avoid empty barking at passing cars and teach it to protect entrusted items only with your permission.
It manifests itself in the unwillingness to give toys or other items that the dog considers its own. Typical for animals accustomed to playing tug and do not perceive the authority of the owner.
This type of aggression in dogs can be corrected by proper education. Stop attempts to assassinate the main role even in the game. Give out toys when you see fit, and be sure to stop playing if your pet starts growling at you. At such moments, the dog must be left alone, since ignoring is the most effective way of punishment.
Be sure to learn the commands “Fu” and “No”. They will help control the actions of a four-legged friend at home and on a walk, eliminating unwanted guarding of toys or eating dangerous objects.
Domination is manifested in ignoring commands, attacking a person and making decisions on any issues independently. The reason for dissatisfaction can be a ban on sleeping in the wrong place, combing a coat, pulling on a leash, staring, screaming or using physical force. Such actions are perceived as a demonstration of superiority, so a pet disagreeing with your authority will try to challenge the place of the leader in its favor.
It is necessary to prove your leadership in your own home from the first days of the appearance of a four-legged friend. It is much easier to explain your superiority to a puppy, so try not to miss this moment. Set the bans you want and never take indulgences in breaking them. If the dog should not sleep with you in the same bed, do not allow it to do this even during illness.
Please note that the pet is obliged to unquestioningly follow the commands of all family members. Don’t let it dominate the kids, but don’t physically punish it for disobedience. This will only aggravate the existing situation.
Discourage hand biting while playing. In the future, this can result in rather serious injuries. If it disobeys, try to switch the attention of the aggressor by commanding “Sit” or “Lie down”.
A developed hunting instinct makes the dog chase moving objects that suddenly appear in the field of view: running children, cyclists, cars, cats, rodents or birds. At such moments, the dog completely surrenders to the pursuit, losing touch with the outside world. A four-legged pet that is keen on hunting can not only get lost, but also cause quite serious injuries to its target.
To prevent negative consequences, it is necessary to take the four-legged friend to special courses of obedience. After that, undesirable actions can be suppressed by the commands “Fu”, “To me” or “Lie down”, accompanied by a sharp pull on the leash.
Food aggression in dogs is expressed by warning growls at people or other pets trying to approach the bowl of food. Fearing for the safety of its “prey”, the animal may hastily swallow food or attack a competitor.
To solve the problem, it is necessary to change the feeding regime by eliminating extraneous stimuli. Feed your pet alone, do not let it nibble and give out treats only for real merit. Do the following exercise:
1-Give the Sit command before applying food.
2-Then put the bowl down and command “Wait”, not allowing the dog to touch the food until you get the appropriate permission (“Yes”).
3-After a while, interrupt the feeding by commanding “No” or “Wait”.
4-Wait a few seconds and allow eating again.
If the exercise is successful, praise your pet and give out a treat. In case of failure, take the bowl and command “Place”. Repeat the previous steps regularly until the undesirable behavior disappears.
It is characteristic of guard and service breeds that protect the thing or person entrusted to them. In the absence of a real threat, such a response is inadequate.
It is better to study guard and protective service under the guidance of a dog handler. It is enough for the owner himself to prevent these actions with the help of timely socialization. Do not lock the dog alone in the aviary and give it the opportunity to chat with your friends and acquaintances to reduce existing anxiety. Only encourage negative reactions to strangers if they can actually harm the dog.
Maternal aggression in dogs: protecting the offspring is a natural response that occurs during gestation and rearing of puppies. Most often it occurs in females, but sometimes it is also noted in males guarding the “nest” from the encroachment of potential enemies.
It is impossible to eliminate this type of aggression in dogs. It passes unaided when the puppies gain independence. It is enough for the owner to help secure the location of the “nest” and avoid provocations of the anxious mother.
8-Painful or fearful
This type of aggression in dogs is typical for insecure or abused animals. If your pet growls, bites your hands and huddles in a corner while grooming or at the sight of strangers, use sedatives and engage in socialization.
Ask your friends to come up to you on the street and treat the dog to a treat. Several such encounters will calm the four-legged aggressor and reduce existing anxiety. The treat can also be given after a haircut to evoke a pleasant association with a frightening procedure.
We should also note the pain caused by internal pathologies. If growling and grinning occurs when you try to touch its stomach, paws or other parts of the body, be sure to sign up for a diagnosis with your veterinarian.
Most often observed between same-sex individuals shortly after puberty. Weaker animals, unable to stand for themselves, become the object of attacks. The aggressor does not allow them to eat until the end of its own meal, takes away toys, does not let them on the couch or into the room.
Castration and sedatives will be required to suppress hostility. Also, we must not forget about gradual socialization. Walk your rebel on a leash, suppress and punish for attempts to attack other animals.
A jump in hormones is observed not only during pregnancy, but also during sexual intercourse. The female becomes aggressive shortly before ovulation and immediately after ovulation. The aggressiveness of the male is longer and is explained by the protection of the chosen one from possible competitors.
The most effective way to eliminate this type is castration. Due to the removal of reproductive organs, the hormonal background is stabilized, excluding new outbursts of anger.
With breeding animals, this stage will simply have to wait out. To protect others, be sure to wear a muzzle and a leash on your pet to exclude attempts to attack and fight.
An unmotivated aggression in dogs has no cause and arises spontaneously due to mental deviation. A similar reaction is typical for individuals born as a result of violation of the breeding rules.
Such cases are rare and require mandatory veterinary intervention. It is impossible to correct the situation on our own.
An unmotivated kind of anger deserves special attention. It does not respond to treatment, so the main task of therapy is to maintain remission with the help of medication and training with a zoopsychologist.
In most cases, the owner is to blame for the aggressiveness of the pet. Any pet requires socialization and training. If you are not confident in your own abilities, do not take up the upbringing of a wayward breed, which has a tendency to aggression at the genetic level.
Remember that dealing with a naughty dog is much easier at an early age. Do not postpone teaching teams for the future and instill in your pet the rules of decency from the first days of appearance in the house.