Aggression is the most prevalent behavior problem seen in dogs, and also the most serious. If you have a dog that acts with aggression, this can lead to an incident that may harm another animal or a person. Read on to find out how your Morristown dog care experts at AllDogs Canine Care Center can help.
Know the signs of aggression
The term aggression refers to a wide range of behaviors that begin with warnings and culminate in a physical attack. Any of these behaviors in a dog can be signs of aggression: becoming very still and rigid, a guttural-sounding bark, lunging forward at a person or animal, punching a person with its nose, growling, showing teeth, snarling, snapping, nipping, biting, or shaking.
Unfortunately, many dog owners do not recognize signs of aggression until it is too late and an incident has occurred. Remember, though, that dogs rarely bite without giving some sort of warning—even if that warning occurs mere milliseconds before the bite.
Learn what causes aggression in your dog
If your dog is showing signs of aggression, the first step is to identify who or what is triggering the behavior. It is a natural instinct for dogs to exhibit aggressive behavior around unfamiliar people and unfamiliar dogs. Behaving aggressively toward family members or other pets in the home is far less common, although aggression by dogs against children—and especially children who live in the home—can be quite worrisome.
Certain dogs are aggressive only against a category of people, such as the veterinarian, the dog groomer, your mail carrier, or a repairman. If this is the case with your four-legged friend, your Jefferson City dog trainers suggest taking steps to limit access to that category of person, whether that means grooming your dog at home or putting your dog in its own safe space before a repairman comes to visit.
Remember that aggression against dogs and aggression against humans usually are independent behaviors. In other words, just because your dog shows aggression toward other canines, it does not mean your dog is more or less likely to be aggressive toward people.
Know the risk factors that can influence the likelihood of aggression
If your dog acts with aggression, the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of your pet falls on you, the owner. Several factors influence both the level of risk in living with an aggressive dog, as well as the likelihood of correcting the behavior.
Larger dogs, for example, are more frightening when aggressive and also can do more damage in the unfortunate event that they bite. Age also matters; young dogs that show aggression are easier to treat and train to correct the behavior. If your dog has a history of biting, it can become an insurance liability. Unpredictable outbursts of aggression can be one of the most serious, and difficult, behaviors to correct; a dog who consistently shows aggression each time a certain event happens is much easier to live with than a dog who acts with aggression sporadically with no apparent rhyme or reason.
Alert your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of aggression
Canine aggression could be a consequence of a medical condition. For example, orthopedic problems, dysfunction of the thyroid or adrenal gland, and even a sensory deficit all can lead to seemingly unexplained changes in mood and aggression in dogs. This is common among geriatric dogs, who may be suffering from confusion and insecurity that prompt sudden outbursts of aggressive behavior. Aggression also can be a side effect of certain medications. If your dog has an aggression problem or develops one, take your pet to be evaluated by a veterinarian to identify or rule out medical problems that may be causing the behaviors to manifest.
Behavioral dog training in Morristown
AllDogs Canine Care Center is proud to offer comprehensive dog training in Jefferson City and Morristown as part of our wide range of services. We also hold special seminars on specific issues related to canines, such as aggression. We can schedule private one-on-one lessons that can be held with you and your dog. It doesn’t matter if you want to meet at your home… a dog park… no matter the location, we will be happy to come to you!
Find out more about our dog training and how we can help you and your dog manage their aggressive behavior by calling our office at (865) 475-2225 to make an appointment with one of our trainers.
AllDogs Canine Care Center is proud to offer a full range of dog care services in the areas of Jefferson City and Morristown in Tennessee.