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How to Stop Dog Aggression towards Children

Updated on April 30, 2012
How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Children
How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Children | Source

Stopping Dog Aggression Towards Children

Dog aggression towards children can be a serious risk that warrants your immediate attention. Understanding the cause of dog aggression towards children can be the first step towards solving this dog behavior problem. While dog behavior problems can be diverse and challenging especially to new pet owners, you should consider a careful evaluation of the dog breed you choose when adopting a pet. Often people who don’t have time to solve dog aggression problems go for dog breeds that are less likely to be aggressive especially towards children. When you adopt a dog he should integrate with your family easily and exhibit only those desirable behaviors of our canine friends.

Understanding the Cause of Dog Aggression Towards Children

While your dog may not be perfect, a little training can be helpful to help him live in harmony with the entire family. Most dogs that show aggression towards children may have a previous bad history that possibly reminds them of a painful encounter. Some dogs are very good in memorizing events and occurrences in life and this may be good since they may be very easy to train. On the other side they may show undesirable behavior whose root cause is the previous events. They often view the children as an irritant related to a previous bad experience. By training your dog not to focus on this, they can become better and eventually lovely pets for the family and children as well.

Dog Aggression Towards other People or Things

Dog aggression may not only be limited towards children only. Your dog may possibly be aggressive towards other people, strangers, other dogs or inanimate objects. A careful observation of the cause of this aggression towards children and or other people may be the best way to start dog aggression training geared towards stopping this vice. Dog Aggressive towards children may also be aggressive towards cats. Dog aggression towards cats can also be another problem that is closely related to dog aggression towards kids.

Are some Dog Breeds Aggressive towards Children ?

Contrary to what many people believe, there may be breed predisposition to aggression, but often when you look at the list of aggressive dog breeds there are dogs that make good pets. It all depends from a situation to another, a good example are the German Shepherd that equally make good pets and can as well be fierce police dogs or guard dogs.

Stopping Dog Aggression Towards Children

Stopping dog aggression towards children can be a daunting task, which requires patience and understanding what is the precise cause of this behavior problem. While in most cases you may never get to know exactly the cause of dog aggression towards children, it pays if you are a little patience and offer your dog the right kind of training to stop the aggression towards children.

Remember this behavior problem can be a serious problem that greatly undermines the safety of children.

Causes of Dog Aggression Towards Children

Some of the causes of dog aggression towards children, people, strangers, other dogs, cats and objects may be summarized as follows:

  • Denied or absence of socialization with children- This can be a primary cause of the problem, since the children may handle the dog wrongly. The dog may be aggressive also due to sudden shift of attention towards children especially when children who were not in the house before come. If children, have come from school or a long period of absence, the dog may show some aggression towards children.
  • Nervousness dog behavior can be another cause of dog aggression towards children. If your dog is nervous and feel intimidated or unappreciated by the family they may show their dissatisfaction by displaying aggression towards children or other people. This may be perceived by the dog as a threat.
  • Previous Bad encounters or occurrences involving children can also be a cause of the dog aggression problems towards children. These experiences may involve some form of trauma inflicted on the making them want to defend themselves from the possible danger.

Dealing with Dog Aggression towards Children

While we have looked at the most obvious causes of dog aggression towards children, we may not have exhausted the causes but we will limit our discussion to these three since they are the most important causes of dog aggression towards children. To stop aggression of dogs towards kids you need to take immediate precautionary measures that will ensure the safety of your kids when you are away from home.

  • One such precautionary measure to stop dog aggression towards children is avoiding their contact in your absence. It might be helpful that you supervise the socialization between your dog and children and take the advantage to show your dog they can live in harmony with the kids.
  • The children should involve the dog in their games and the games should be restricted to those that don’t involve chase. Naturally the dog breeds that are aggressive are motivated by chase to be aggressive.
  • The dog and the children should not sleep in the same place and you should ensure you talk to your children on how to avoid confrontation and make them understand how to handle the dog to avoid aggression towards children.
  • The dog should not be handled in a rough way that is likely to inflict pain on them since this will illicit aggression towards the children

These are some of the ways that can be helpful in dealing with dog aggression towards children; the list is certainly not exhaustive. Feel free to share your personal experiences on dog aggression towards children and let us all learn how we can curb this vice.


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    • profile image

      Judy 3 years ago

      We just adopted a 2 yr old lab, bulldog, retrever mix. She is fine w/the adults but growls at our 9 and 5 yr old. We have not had her 24hrs but why is she already singling out the children and how can we stop it

    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 5 years ago from Carmichael, California

      Thank you for an informational Hub. Your Hub can help pet owners understand connections between socialization and aggressive behavior. Your Hub also lets pet owners know that there are positive ways to correct and/or avoid the behavior.