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Preventing Aggression in Dogs

Updated on February 4, 2014

Bad Behaviors

Canine aggression is the most serious behavior problem that a pet owner can face with dogs. Dog's are considered man's best friend, they are companions and members of the family. They love their masters unconditionally, but what can owners do to prevent aggressive behavior?

Some breeds are instinctly more likely to have aggressive tendencies than others. Excessive aggression is a sign of behavioral and social problems and must be addressed. Aggression can be brought on by certain triggers which cause this behavior in an otherwise calm animal. Some triggers could include a certain person, animal, or another dog. Dogs are territorial, and many will protect what they believe is rightfully theirs.

Aggressive behaviors that can lead to more serious problems include: lunging, snapping, excessive barking, and growling. Pain or medication issues need to be ruled out before labeling the dog as being aggressive.

Early Prevention

Correcting aggressive behavior early on is the best way to prevent it from becoming irreversible. Never allow him or her to achieve dominance over any human, and always monitor their behavior around family members.

Aggression in a dog may be desired by owners such as a woman who lives by herself and doesn't like to be alone at night, a dog that will be protective of his master in the instance of an intruder with harmful intentions towards the owner, could be the ideal pet. This animal would show appropriate response to a situation that he felt he needed to protect his master and home. 

Monitor Aggressive Puppy Play
Monitor Aggressive Puppy Play

Puppy Play

Puppies need gentle play and handling to help them grow into an obedient adult dog. Proper correction at a young age, preferably before the age of four months, is the key to success. Never allow them to jump on or bite at small children even in a playful manner, it can lead to undesired behavior when the puppy grows up.

Puppies that lack socialization and interaction skills, and are secluded to just the members of the household, may be at higher risks for behavioral problems. Never slap and play with puppies or dogs because they will think that this is acceptable behavior. Once owners realize this is mistake and try to correct it, it is difficult and confusing for the puppy to stop this playtime activity he once enjoyed, and thought was acceptable.

Choosing a Non Aggressive Puppy

When looking for a dog or puppy to take home, you can see which one is the most dominant over the litter by watching how the puppies interact with one another. Find out which ones are shy, dominant, or loners. If purchasing from a breeder, check out the temperment of the mother to see what it is like. The father of the litter may also be available to observe.

Raising pets is a lot like raising children. Parents must teach children how to behave and the difference between right and wrong in hopes that when they grow up and continue to practice the manners and proper behavior throughout a long and happy life.

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