Aggression and Canine Cognitive Disorder
If you have an older dog and their aggression may be showing for some reason or other, you might want to consider Canine Cognitive Dysfunction as the root of the problem. This is especially true if you find other symptoms of CCD like loss of house training, phobias, or getting lost. Aggression is a natural behavior for a dog but aggression that is out of control, especially in an older dog, could be CCD. There are many reasons for aggression and CDC may be the culprit, but look at other aggression reasons before you make Canine Cognitive Dysfunction a diagnosis for you or your vet.
New aggression in your older dog may be a sign of him or her telling you that they are in pain. They will have stiffer joints and will be prone to want to be left alone more often. When they are forced to do something they don't want to, they may snap or bite. They will tend to shy away from situations that have to do with a lot of activity and if a young person pushes them toward that activity, aggression may occur. If your dog is a little snappish and is not hurting anyone, step back and let them have their way.
Your dog may be becoming aggressive due to territorial issues. A new dog could have moved in on your block and they are being aggressive because they feel that their space is being threatened. This is natural for a dog. It doesn't even have to be another dog, it could be wildlife that has settled into the neighborhood, and your dog has a fear of the animal or a confusion that causes aggression. Try to find the stimulus to the aggression by looking around the neighborhood and see if there is something new there. It might be taken care of by just letting your dog explore the area on a leash.
Remember, there can be many causes for aggression besides Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. You really have to be concerned when your dog shows more symptoms than just aggression. For each of the symptoms, you need to seek out the causes and find out what the triggers or stimuli are. One issue could cause multiple symptoms. Connect with your vet and let him or her know what is going on with your best friend. Observe and even take notes. This can all help the vet make a diagnosis and find the best ways to let your older dog live happier and healthier.