There are a number of things that can cause aggressive dog behavior. It could be an issue from puppyhood that was never properly dealt with – such being attacked by another dog or, it could be an issue related to dominance between you and the dog. Whatever the cause is, it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Prolonged aggression is not only frightening, but dangerous if it is not quickly addressed.
The Source of Aggressive Dog Behavior
Aggressive behavior in dogs can begin as early as 6 weeks old. This is also the age when it is important a puppy begin socializing with other dogs and undergo training that stops them biting other people. This period of socialization normally stops when the dog turns 14 weeks old, however it can extend further.
This raises several implications of how we should treat a puppy. The first thing is, a puppy should never be taken away from its litter before 8 weeks old. Any harsh discipline between 8 and 10 weeks should be avoided. The dog should receive very gentle treatment during that time. Giving harsh punishments such as hitting or yelling at a young age can result in the development of aggressive dog behavior over time.
It is strongly recommended to properly socialized your dog with people and other dogs by 14 weeks of age to avoid any future aggression issues.
A number of factors can trigger actual aggressive behavior. Heredity and genetics can play a part in causing aggression, with some breeds more aggressive than others, but it is not a hard and fast rule. In addition, dogs that are not neutered or spayed tend to be more aggressive than those that have the procedure.
However, the biggest and most important factor in the development of aggressive dog behavior is their environment. A dog subjected to poor living conditions, harsh treatment, lack of socialization, or that has been attacked or frightened by another dog is likely to develop aggression as it grows older.
The need to establish a pack pecking order can also result in aggression. A dog testing for dominance will often result in biting, posturing, or other forms of aggressive tendencies. You’ll need to establish a position of dominance over your dog at the earliest age possible and maintain it throughout adolescence, to ensure they do not take control of the household.
Stopping and Controlling Aggressive Dog Behavior
A dog will reached sexual maturity after 14 months of age. If it displays aggressive behavior after this age, you should address the problem immediately. This is especially true it has already been altered. The first thing you need to do is established yourself as the pack leader. There should not be any reward for aggressive behavior, even if it is triggered by something which scared the dog, which is especially true in this case.
Your dog should be trained to respond to commands. You should also control their feeding and walking times, and there is a strong leader for the dog in the house. Your dog will exhibit stronger aggression toward others if you defer or allow it to take liberties in your home.
If your dog have not have been properly socialized they can become defensive-aggressive and may strike out at a person in fear. If this case they will need to be kept away from small children (which they may see as a threat), and you should attend a training session or see a behaviorist who will gently accustom the dog to a social atmosphere.
Aggressive dog behavior is one of the biggest problems many owners have, but it is controllable, even as your dog grows older. If your dog’s aggression turn into violence, consider asking a professional to intervene before it is held responsible for injuring someone.