Entries Tagged 'Dog Aggression' ↓

Aggressive Behavior In Dogs – Preventing A Mishap

Over time dogs have learnt to live with humans. Most of the times, they are docile and lend themselves to petting. They also obey commands, if trained well. There are instances where dogs have served well as companions to senior citizens and handicapped individuals.

A well-trained dog can even run errands for you. At the same time, dogs can be unpredictable too. Although dog aggression is considered as one of the abnormal behaviors in domesticated dogs, an animal is after all an animal. Dogs evolved from wolves and retain some of their aggressive traits.

They are bound to respond to their genes and behave in accordance to them at times. However, the aggressive trait is manageable in most cases and if proper care is taken you can totally eliminate the possibility of aggression in your dog.

Aggressive dog behavior is mostly caused by the following factors:

* A medical condition
* Genetic predisposition towards dominating the pack
* A fear factor
* Maternal fears for safety of the litter
* Redirected aggression
* Inter-male rivalry and territorial aggression

Correcting aggressive behavior appropriately requires an understanding of the real cause of the aggression. There are different techniques that you can adopt to train your dog. These techniques can range from obedience training that is targeted towards establishing who the ‘boss’ is to a structured and methodical manner of desensitizing your dog to certain people or situations.

If you feel that your dog shows some signs of aggression, learning more about home care and preventing aggressive dog behavior will hold you in good stead.

Preventing dog aggression needs the involvement of the entire family, including children:

* Initially try to adopt a dog whose temperament is suited to your personality. Some individuals and certain breeds are more prone to indulge in persistent aggressive dog behavior and are therefore, difficult to manage.
* Develop a relationship with the dog right from the day you bring him home as a puppy. The relationship should be directed towards establishing that you are the leader. This is extremely important if the breed of your dog is susceptible to aggressive behavior.
* Do not allow children to interact with the dog when he is eating, chewing a bone or sleeping.
Exercise your dog daily, without the leash and let him run for a reasonable period of time.
* Hold daily obedience sessions to let him learn new lessons and revise old ones.
* Ask every member in the family to follow the protocol set by you for training sessions.
* Check the diet ingredients. The diet should meet the nutritional demands of your dog. It should be ensured that a diet that is likely to induce aggression should not be given to your dog.
* Try a natural homeopathic remedy such as Aggression Formula to reduce aggressive behavior and calm your dog.


 If your dog is persistently unpredictable:

* Use a basket style muzzle and seek professional help.
* Avoid all interaction with the dog including physical punishment. Punishing can actually aggravate the present condition and may lead to dog biting.
* If you have more than one dog in the house, feed them separately. Remove all bones or rawhides that may be in his possession.
* Till such time a professional arrives, isolate the dog and confine him in a separate room.

Biting puppies – train the pup and yourself

The first ten week period of a newborn puppy’s life is the best time to teach a puppy that biting is not acceptable. And training your puppy to avoid an incidence of dog biting is crucial.

This is especially because biting comes naturally to them and it is the easiest form of dog aggression that he can resort to in situations that induce fear, anxiety and aggression. And such training is best done before strong adult teeth take the place of small nibbling ones. Curbing aggressive dog behavior among adult dogs is far more difficult than training puppies.

While training puppies, always remember that physical punishment does not work. Punishment is tantamount to making the dog more resolute in his behavior and in such cases aggression is likely to become a permanent concern.

The approach that you take should clearly indicate to the puppy that you love him but hate the biting habit instead. At the same time you must assume leadership as the dog considers you as part of the pack. Unless he perceives you to be the leader he is likely to let go of aggressive dog behavior easily.

Dogs use their mouth to express themselves. A pup also uses his mouth and his tongue for communication. Encourage licking, although not a compatible dog behavior, by offering treats and praise. Give licking a name so that he remembers the activity the next time. If the puppy uses his teeth on you, make an abrupt startling sound (e.g. OUCH) right in his face. His instincts will tell him that he has to stop. Isolate him for five minutes if you feel that the loud sound did not have an impact. Pick him up after some time and see how he responds now. Continue this till the time you feel that the pup has got the idea of what is acceptable and what not.

By the time the pup is six weeks he should have understood that he can use his mouth on you but only for licking. If you have brought an older puppy, you might have to repeat this for some time since he may need more time to adjust to new faces and the new environment.

Expose the puppy to other dogs and humans. The reactions of other puppies and dogs when bitten are likely to make him understand that he should desist from biting. Exposure to humans will remove fear of strangers.

Training alone does not inhibit dog biting. It is also necessary that all those who interact with the dog adhere to certain norms that restrict dog biting.

Children are prone to unpredictable behaviors. This, more than anything else, puts a dog on his defensive. Keep children away from the puppy till the time you are sure that he is trained. It is pertinent to teach children the manner in which they should approach a puppy or a dog and what specific actions need to be avoided.

* Do not play aggressive or competitive games with the puppy.
* Define the areas that are out of bounds and consistently stick to it.
* Never tap on the head. Instead scratch below the chin.

Biting comes naturally to puppies. In a litter, they play by rolling over and biting each other even before they have developed their teeth. A younger dog can cause more harm with his sharp teeth in spite of the fact that his lower jaw is week. By the time he grows up his teeth may become duller but the strength in his jaws can inflict maximum damage. Teaching young puppies that no teeth can touch human skin or clothes always help in the long term.

Aggressive behavior caused by a dog’s diet

Understanding dog behavior is important before arriving at any conclusions about the reasons behind certain types of behavior. Much as humans feel offended at certain things and resort to aggression, dogs too respond similarly. Just as certain foods do not suit humans, there are many foods that should not be fed to dogs.

If you continue to feed your dog with a diet that disturbs his system, he is liable to show his irritation in his behavior. Persistent feeding of unsuitable diet ultimately leads to aggressive dog behavior.

Dogs are not obligate carnivores and can be often seen hunting for roots and fruits. Dogs evolved from wolves. In the wild if you see wolves and dogs eating an herbivore prey that they have killed, you may notice they first go for the stomach area of the carcass. That is where they will find roots and leaves and berries. Many times you can also see dogs eating grass.

Left to him, a dog will eat only what he can digest and pass easily. Domesticated dogs do not have that option available to them. They have to consume what they are fed by dog owners. It is a known fact that commercial dog food contains synthetic preservative, coloring and fillers.

Some manufacturers even stoop to add addictive ingredients to boost their sales. These substances can do serious harm to the dog. Constant intake of such substances often leads to dog aggression when the dog’s discomfort exceeds tolerance levels.

If your dog is becoming overly aggressive and you perceive that even re-training efforts are coming to a naught, check the diet that you are feeding him with. If you are feeding your dog with a diet that is not providing him with enough energy he is likely to be non responsive towards training.

One of the reasons behind your dog getting hyper, unfocused and out of control may be the cheap grain based kibble that you might be feeding him. Actually, grain based diet should never be fed to a dog. It can ruin his digestive system because it is not his natural diet. The biological and physiological basis of this is related to blood sugar levels.

High carbohydrate diet leads to wild swings in blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Even if you look at it in the evolutionary perspective, wild dogs consume only minimal quantity of grains and that too in the shape of already digested paste and juices in the intestines of a seed eating prey.

The recent shooting up of incidence of aggression led dog biting can be an outcome of generations of diet that is incompatible to the dog’s digestive system. It is never too late to start to save an animal that has earned the distinction of being a man’s best friend.

A high quality protein based diet in conjunction with roots, fruits, green beans, tomatoes and bananas can ultimately lead to a healthier generation of dogs. Remember that a healthy and mature dog does not normally bite.

How to check aggression in puppies

Dog biting makes up for almost half the claims made under home owner’s insurance policies. Nearly two thirds of the cases relate to biting incidents that occur with an acquainted dog. At the same time, healthy and well trained dogs are not aggressive and they normally do not bite.

There is evidence of a genetic disposition of dog aggression in certain breeds. However, that is not the only cause of aggressive dog behavior. There are other factors that influence aggressive behavior in dogs and the best way to guard against such a situation is to start dog training when you purchase or accept a puppy.

Select a puppy that suits your family. Puppies that are too shy need large amounts of coaxing in various situations. Shy puppies will need more time in each activity. Before selecting a shy puppy, make sure that you are ready to spend some time with for him.

On the other hand, if you choose a dominant dog, you may require everyone in the family to be authoritative. You can get to know which puppy is dominant or too shy by inspecting the litter. The most dominant will take control of all activity while a too shy puppy will be seen cringing in the corner.

How you train and handle the puppy in the initial weeks is likely to determine whether he will grow up to be aggressive or not. The period from six weeks to eighteen weeks is crucial for all puppies. It needs indulgence on your part in the shape of gentle but firm handling and hand feeding. Teach him to accept food without snapping or lunging even if it amounts to feeding him in your lap.

Initially most puppies tend to jump on people, walk between legs and go after running children or growl excessively. Physical punishment usually proves to be counterproductive in such cases. Instead deny affection by not interacting for some time or scold verbally with an emphatic ‘NO’.

Early socializing is an important part of training. Puppies start developing sensitivity to other dogs and people almost as soon as they open their eyes at three weeks. The next fifteen weeks are crucial and they need to learn socializing skills. During this period they need to be exposed to other dogs and people in a positive manner so that they develop the required skills to be comfortable with people and dogs.

Puppies brought to a new home after ten to twelve weeks find it difficult to adjust to the new family. They tend to be more fearful and fear can lead to aggressive behavior. As new bonds are not developed, the puppy may try to exert dominance over the family as he grows up. The best time to bring a puppy home is in the middle of the learning period.

The teenage years for a dog begin at sixteen weeks. At this age the hormonal surge makes dogs become more protective and assert territorial dominance. If you bring a puppy home near about that age, his inherent breed specific disposition would have already taken root.

In such instances special care is required while handling. Ensure that you or your family handles him frequently but gently. Resist any temptation to release him if he squirms. That is for showing him that you are the master and he cannot dominate you.

Certain breeds evolved as aggressive dogs due to typical jobs they were required to perform in the early stages of domestication. Before bringing home such puppies, realize that they may require professional training.