These days it feels that not a month goes by without us hearing a tragic headline on the news relating to aggressive dogs and the horrific damage they can cause to people and other dogs when their anger spirals out of control.
The reality is that dog aggression is complex and deeply ingrained in the canine instinct, but of course this can be effectively controlled, especially with most breeds, so that your dog is not a threat to those around it, but rather a playful part of the family.
In order to try and address the problem of dog aggression, it is logical to begin with understanding why this aggression exists. In this article we will be focusing on dog on dog aggression specifically. This is where the root of the problem of dog on human aggression stems from.
It must be borne in mind that there are various different types of aggression expressed by dogs. These typically include dominance aggression, sexual aggression, territorial aggression and protective aggression, to name but a few. It is perfectly normal for a dog to experience any of the above, given the fact that they are naturally part of the way the animal kingdom functions.
The secret is to not let it get out of hand. Of course, any combination of any of these different branches of dog aggression may exist in any one instance, making the situation far more difficult to deal with.
With incredibly dangerous dogs, it is true to say that they already have a predisposition to aggression issues, and this could be as a result of all sorts of reasons.
How to socialize an aggressive dog
Most commonly, this tends to be a consequence of poor socialization with other dogs as a puppy, therefore leading to insecurity and the dog’s need to defend itself in a situation where it is unnecessary.
Likewise it could be a side effect of a traumatic experience the dog has undergone, which, like humans, can cause it to become overly fearful or controlling. Aside from these two points, there is also the awful but true reality that some people teach their dogs to be aggressive and use them as a weapon.
People who do this tend to choose naturally aggressive dogs anyway, making these canines scarily powerful and dangerous to any other pup and indeed people. Most of the dogs responsible for the tragic incidents which we hear about on the news fall into this category.
So having considered why dog aggression exists in some dogs, what can we do about minimizing its dangers?
First of all it is wise to approach your vet and establish whether there are any medical procedures available to calm a particularly aggressive dog down, and he may also benefit from seeing an animal behavior specialist, who is an expert on different breeds and indeed on how to handle them.
Be wary of using pain as a means of punishing your dog when it displays aggression. This could teach it that he who inflicts the most pain wins, which is not a road you want to go down! Likewise make sure you do not comfort your dog when he is displaying aggression, as this implies that you are supporting his actions.
Over and above all these points, however, is the ultimate secret for sorting your dog aggression problem. The key is to establish a good, structured obedience training program which addresses this issue. By handling the problem when your pet is a puppy, you will ensure that it is kept to a minimum.