Being a dog owner can have its perks and challenges. On one hand, you have a life-long loyal companion who is always by your side and considers you a part of his pack. On another, these loyal dogs can suddenly start barking endlessly and even threaten to attack other pets.
Your once sweet angel turned into a scary creature ready to pounce at its prey. Being aware of your dog’s behavior and how to train them can be tricky. Ignoring their aggressive behavior can lead to dangerous accidents that can hurt your dog too.
As fur parents, it’s your job to keep them in check and help them deal with these aggressive behaviors by first understanding why dogs become aggressive and attack other animals.
Dogs react badly towards other animals because of the barrier between them and the animal they see. Your dog is safely within the borders of your home when suddenly, across the fence, they start barking angrily at the neighbor dog.
This is called fence aggression where the dog is frustrated because they can’t come close to the animal they see and investigate.
Another reason dogs get aggressive is because of territory. Dogs are like guards with their homes and the people they love. When something comes near that is unfamiliar to them, like a stranger dog or cat, they get protective and attack.
Other causes of dogs becoming aggressive may be because the dog is not used to socializing, is afraid of something, was abused or neglected, or sometimes trying to show dominance.
Once you figure out why your dog is aggressive, you can start to help them be less violent to other animals. Here are tips to keep your dog from being aggressive.
1. Blocking the trigger.
After finding out what triggers your dog, you can start by blocking your dog’s view of the trigger. If the dog can’t see the trigger, they are less likely to become aggressive.
With fence aggression, you can start your own garden and plant small bushes or a few shrubs along the fence. This will keep the dog from seeing other animals and would prevent them from becoming hostile. You can also do this while taking them on their walks.
Sometimes along the way, you’ll pass by other dogs or cats. Instead of letting your dog see them, stand in between your dog and the trigger. It’s important that you’re always aware of what your dog might see so you can prevent any accidents that happen if they get triggered.
Another way to help your dog deal with aggression is by providing good forms of exercise. Fence aggression can sometimes mean that your dog is bored at home with nothing better to do than to bark at animals or people passing by.
In their heads, they think they are good dogs for barking at the mailman or neighborhood cat because they passed by. This will make them do it repeatedly, so be sure to walk your dogs or play with them at home regularly. A tired dog is a happy dog, go ahead and get their favorite toys and treats and keep them active until they lay down smiling.
2. Keep your calm.
You may not realize it, but your dog is so in tune with your mood. Your fur baby can feel what you feel and react accordingly because they love you that much.
When you see a potential trigger for your dog, like a stranger dog, and you tense up, your dog will feel this. They will feel your nervous energy, and they will act on that mood and protect you. Instead of doing this, set an example for your dog and keep your calm. As you keep doing this, your furry friend will pick this up and follow your lead.
Sometimes, these confrontations with other animals are unavoidable. Other than keeping your calm, you can pretend the other dog doesn’t exist. This way, your fur baby understands that meeting other dogs is not a big deal, and you can continue on your lovely stroll.
You can do this by walking the other way or changing routes should they start to become aggressive. Another thing to remember is to make sure you’re not trapped between your dog and the other dog. Your fur baby loves you and wants to protect you, which might cause them to become aggressive at times.
3. Provide positive reinforcements.
Your four-legged friends are smarter than you might think. As scary as these behaviors may be, you can help them unlearn these bad traits and start learning the good ones.
One way of doing that is by helping them make a connection that meeting new dogs is a pleasurable thing, not something to attack.
Although this may take some time, patience, and a lot of treats, it’s a great way to get your dog less protective and more social with other pooches. That way, your paw friends can have more friends and enjoy their walks more.
Try desensitizing your dogs towards other dogs by starting in a safe space for your pooch. Little by little, bring them closer to unfamiliar animals and give them a nice treat once they start reacting less. This will help them associate that meeting new friends isn’t such a bad thing.
Keep doing this, and in a few weeks, you’ll be sure to see great results for your furry friend. Be cautious that some dogs might not be friendly and will never be entirely okay being around other dogs. It’s okay if your dog is like that; your goal is to make sure nothing terrible happens to you or other fur friends.
As a last-ditch effort, you can try putting a nuzzle on your dog to keep everyone safe, as unpleasant as that may sound.
It’s not an easy job to be a dog parent. You not only make sure your pup lives a good life, but you also have to raise them well to be good dogs of the city.
Training dogs to be less aggressive is tricky; you need to be aware of your dog’s triggers and be alert for them. Even if it’s been a while since your pup’s last aggressive attack, keep an eye out for them.
Remember, you want to keep yourself, your fur baby, and other fur friends safe. Aggressive behaviors may cause a serious problem for everyone, be on the lookout always.