How to Stop Dog Aggression?

Aggressive dog behaviour is the most common and most unwanted of bad behaviour in a dog. An aggressive dog can lash out and cause damaging consequences to the victim, either person or another dog or animal. But dog aggression takes many forms and the dog owner needs to be aware of these to correct them before they get out of hand.

Dog aggression is a major factor in dogs being put to sleep or rehomed or abandoned. Owners don’t realise their dogs bad behaviour until it is too late and they are unable or unsure how to stop and correct it.

The video below was recorded and posted on YouTube just a few days ago at Catalina Pier in L.A.  and shows 2 Pitbulls attacking a Jack Russell. The owner of the Jack Russell was bitten while trying to rescue his dog with the Pitbulls ripping out a piece of his calf and biting both arms. He was airlifted to UCLA Harbor Medical Center for surgery. His Jack Russell is also receiving treatment at a Veterinarian for bites received during the attack.

PLEASE BE WARNED IMAGES IN THIS CLIP CAN BE DISTURBING.

I know American Pitbulls have bad reputation, so much so that they are banned in a lot of countries including here in the U.K. but it is not the breed that makes a dog aggressive. A dog can be aggressive no matter what breed they are, it is the way the are brought up and trained.

Now looking at the video above, I am not for one second going to say that the owner is a bad owner, I don’t know the woman, I wasn’t there and I can’t make judgement on it. But you have to question looking at the video why one of the dogs has no collar or leash on, in a public place as well. Why neither are wearing muzzles if she knew the behaviour was there before. And as you can see as she struggles to hold them both animals are too strong for her.

I have sympathy for the woman, she may not have knew the signs, she may think this was totally out of character and these two dogs are her pets which she loves but will now lose. (after this it has been agreed, reported on another site, that both dogs will be put to sleep.)

A lot of dogs aggression stems from fear and not dominance, either fear for themselves or fear for their owner. Territorial aggression, pain induced aggression and possession aggression are just another few forms of aggression that your dog could suffer.

But it all stems (apart from pain induced really) training an dog ownership. You need to train your dog to be obedient to you, you need to socialize them with other people and other dogs so that they are not fearful when they come in to contact.

Becoming an Alpha in the relationship between you and your dog will allow you to control your dog better as they know to listen to you. IF they have dog on dog aggression then majority of the time it is more fear than dominance. They are fearful of this other dog and they don’t see you as a commanding and Alpha that will protect them so they take it upon themselves to protect.

Territorial aggression is your dog rushing and barking at the door as soon as someone knocks or tries to enter. You need to show them that you are allowing that person in, you need to set boundaries and walk them back out the way of the door, maybe even in to another room so they are not there when you open the door and they can’t pounce.

Territorial aggression can be a good thing especially if you want your dog to be a guard dog or watchdog but you need to train them correctly that not everyone is a threat and that they are safe when you are home.

Possessive aggression can also be classed as guarding. Guarding food for example. You need to be the one that feeds them and decides when they are fed and you should also be able to take the food away from them if you wish. It is all about taking the role as the Alpha and your dog following it as part of your pack.

Training

Go back to the start of the dog training if you need to. Start with the simple things such as sit and stay. Reward your dog as they obey commands. Show them that they need to follow your lead and will be rewarded if they do so.

Set boundaries as to when and where they will eat. If you have a family you can show your dog the pack order at such times as meal times. You and the family sit down for a meal and feed the dog after everyone is finished. This is the order of the pack and your dog needs to know that they are last in the pack and they need to follow and obey all other human members of that pack.

If you allow them to sleep on your bed with you, show them that you are allowing them. For a few nights make them sleep away from you. It isn’t their right to sleep on the bed, you are allowing them.

Socializing 

In how to socialize a puppy? We covered how and why we should socialize a dog from a very early age in its life. Socializing them can avoid a lot of the fear that the can feel when they interact with other people and other dogs. This should be started early in their life and carried on through.

If you never done this you could end up with the possibility f dog on dog aggression. I would suspect the woman above may be guilty of this and never socialized her dogs when they were puppies (maybe she never had them as puppies).  She may not have taken on the role of Alpha fully with them so they lashed out in fear, it is a lot of ifs and buts to this but we both know it is something that could’ve been avoided.

Pain Induced Aggresssion

This is where you will definitely need professional advice. If your dog has been showing aggressive signs then maybe it would be best to get them checked it by a vet as soon as possible. If your dog is in pain then no amount of training will prevent them from lashing out. They are lashing out due to pain and frustration that the pain won’t go away. Once this is gone your dog may go back to their usual friendly self or at least it will enable you to start training them out of their aggressive ways.

Professional help

Like above and going to the vet, you may need to consult a professional on your dogs aggressive behaviour. They will be able to meet and observe them and provide you with the best training available to cure this. They will also giving you training tips for your home that can help and speed up the process of removing these aggressive traits in your dog.

I hope you found this post helpful and any feedback or comments are welcome below. In the above video I would just like to point out that a Go Fund Me account has been set up to help pay for the owners treatment and the Jack Russell’s veterinarian bills, if you would like to donate please follow the link here.

 

Thanks

 

4 Replies to “How to Stop Dog Aggression?”

  1. BetheBestUApril 23, 2017 at 8:49 pmReply

    This is a good article.
    I do feel like many times it is a lack of something on the home front. Just like people, there are some animals that may have an imbalance chemically or something that could cause an out of sorts response to something you never would have expected, such as pain, but in many cases, I do feel like many of these instances occur because of lack of direction from owner and lack of boundaries. Many owners train their dogs to be protectors, sometimes I believe a dog can become confused with when and how to respond.
    There will always be a difference of opinion on this subject, but it’s always so sad when an animal is beyond the point of being rehabilitated that they have to be put down.
    Thanks for the interesting read!

    1. Dean LuptonApril 24, 2017 at 6:35 pmReply

      Thanks for the comment. You are right in some cases it could be other factors which lead to a dog lashing out but the majority lie with poor training and guidance. A dog is looking for a leader to show them how to act and interact with people and other dogs. Events such as the one above in the video can be avoided if we truly train our dogs and take the precautions and care when out with them. A lot will be blamed on the breed in this case but a breed doesn’t make a bad dog it is the upbringing.

  2. ReggieApril 23, 2017 at 9:57 pmReply

    Thank you for the article. The video showed a lot and I hope that woman and her dog is okay. This is part of the reason why I do not like dogs. It is not so much the dog, it is the owner. Not putting the dog through the training it needs to be obedient and safe for others. I have a lady in my apartment complex that her dog bit two people both of them works for the apartment complex. The dog drags her everywhere, she is always fighting for it to behave, and you can see she is frustrated. Like children, if you are going to take on the responsibility of have a pet, make sure it is social in a good way. Not everyone is a dog lover.

    1. Dean LuptonApril 24, 2017 at 6:31 pmReply

      Thanks for the comment. You are totally right that it is the owners that are at fault. A dog needs to be trained to know right from wrong, if they are not they will become instinctive which is to protect their pack and be cautious of people and dogs they come in contact with. With training, setting boundaries and a bit of precaution when you with dogs these events wouldn’t happen.

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