One of the main causes of a dog's aggressiveness is usually due to dog owners themselves. The dog’s owner behavior, attitude and the wrong choice of training methods like physical violence, constant reprimands, teasing or ignorance can lead to the development of aggressiveness in a dog. Dogs also tend to develop this undesirable behavior if they are consistently chained, under-fed or excessively punished.
External influences like negative actions from other dogs (violent barking, dog rivalry, physical attacks) can also influence your dog to copy these undesirable aggressive traits.
When we think about aggressive behavior from a survival stand point, it makes sense for a dog to behave in such an (aggressive) protective manner. If a dog didn’t defend himself against the constant violence and abuse, he could be put in a situation where he can be injured or killed.
Certain dogs breeds (Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, St. Bernards) also have the temperament to be aggressive while other dogs may have an association to the unfamiliar that triggers them to react in an aggressive manner (even though they aren’t necessarily in a situation where their survival is indeed threatened). Common situations where you may see a dog act aggressive is towards strangers, children and other dogs. Such a dog may either fear the unknown, have had a bad experience, or have been rewarded for acting aggressively in the past. This is why approaching an unknown dog is always discouraged.
Another reason behind aggressive behavior could be a medical condition. As many of us have experienced ourselves, it is hard not to be irritable when in pain. A thorough exam by a veterinarian will most likely rule out any medical discomfort that may cause a dog to behave aggressively.
Other possible reasons that can cause a dog to displays overly aggressive canine behavior may be because the pack order is not well defined. Your dog may think that he or she is the alpha, and that you are not. As a result, refashioning this pack order is crucial. You must make sure that your dog is at the bottom of the pack and that your dog realizes that you are at the alpha leader instead.
This can be done through aggressive dog training. For example, you have to be a more firm with a dog that does not consider itself at the bottom of the pack. Alternatively, you may chose to exercise greater control over your dog’s whereabouts. When this occurs, and your dog realizes that you, and not him or her, are at the top of the order, you will find that your dog experience to be greatly enhanced.
The fact of the matter is that any dog has the potential to bite. Different dogs have different triggers that spark them to act aggressive or different thresholds for which they will tolerate discomfort, pain, fear, or irritation. Fortunately, dogs often give warning signals that they are going to be aggressive. These warning signs say “please back off…” Some signs that are easy to recognize are growling, teeth barring or a snap. Unfortunately, other signs are so subtle that they can be missed, even by a guardian familiar with the dog. Subtle “back off” signs include the dog freezing in place, a hard stare from the eyes, large eyes, yawning, whining, panting, ears pinned to the head and a stiff body.
One useful aggressive dog training tip is to never punish the dog for giving a warning. If you discourage the dog from giving a warning, then you may get a dog who no longer warns of its displeasure but rather goes straight into biting.
Likewise, punishing aggressive behavior is the most incorrect action a person can take against a dog who is displaying aggressive behavior. Punishing the dog or yelling at it may encourage the dog to become more aggressive, putting you or someone else safety in further danger. When an animal is tense, nervous, or afraid, adding the element of additional fear will only intensify those emotions.
Note: If a dog is acting aggressively it is crucial to manage the behavior with aggressive dog training or call in a professional with aggressive dog training expertise as soon as possible. Due to the safety issues involved with an aggressive dog and the legality that can arise, a guardian of such a dog will want to act in a prompt and responsible manner.
Aggressive Dog Training And Preventative Measures
Training and teaching your dog what is unacceptable behavior in the first place, especially during your dog's puppy years, before it develops the habit of biting your hands and clothes can save you a lot of trouble in the future. This is also one of the main reasons why most professional dog trainers encourage people with puppies to behavior train their dog or attend a puppy training class.
Many experts believe that the critical socialization period for puppies is from birth until 6 months of age. Ideally the puppy will associate all types of people, whether they are male or female, adult or child, dark skin or light skin, wearing glasses or a baseball hat, with good things. Puppies can also learn bite inhibition, where they learn to use a soft mouth.
For undesirable bites or aggressive biting, you may use the “time-out” method as a discouraging method – first call out a firm "No", then leave your dog in a room and close the door for 30 seconds. Doing this will help your dog understand your expectancies.
Also, when playing with toys, it may not be wise to engage in a tussle with a dog that has shown signs of aggression. Doing so may only cause your dog to think that aggressive behavior is encouraged and is the appropriate behavior.
Counter conditioning, another positive training technique used by many professional dog trainers for aggressive dog training can also help change how the dog feels about what is triggering the aggressive behavior.
A typical example of this would be a dog who growls, barks and lunges at other dogs while walking on leash. Since the presence of other dogs is what trigger the dog to act anxious, angry, or afraid; every time the dog sees another dog he/she will be given delicious pieces of ham (or anything else the dog loves) to counter the aggressive behavior!
With enough conditioning and repetition, at progressive levels that the dog can handle, the aggressive dog will start to associate the presence of other dogs with ham (dogs=ham).
Properly executed, the final behavior should be a dog who calmly looks to his or her guardian for a treat whenever he or she catches a glimpse of the dogs who used to cause him/her to act aggressive.
When you effectively put to use the methods involved with aggressive dog training, your dog will cease being potentially destructive and dangerous and you will, instead, have a well-trained canine that becomes part of the family!
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Aggressive Puppy Training