You may have a serious issue on your hands if your dog regularly snaps, bites, or growls at you or others. It’s important to remember that any breed has the capability of becoming aggressive when the circumstances are right. It isn’t just the “dangerous” breeds, such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, that can be aggressive. In fact, aggressive behavior is one of the most common reasons why dog owners look for professional help from a dog trainer or other professional.
If your dog is displaying aggressive behavior, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to stop it as soon as possible. While it won’t be cured overnight, read on to learn what can be done about it.
How you can stop aggression
As stated above, knowing when and why your dog is being aggressive will play an important role in deciding on your next step. You’ll need time and patience to curb his behavior, and you may need to bring in a professional if you can’t make the aggression stop. Help your dog stay calm and curb his aggressive tendencies by attempting the following steps.
Use a Quality CBD Oil
Natural remedies are often a huge help for dogs with aggressive tendencies. One solution is the use of CBD oil. Giving your dog a quality CBD oil will help ease a multitude of issues, especially aggression. CBD oil works by interacting with your dog’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, bringing about a calming effect that also curbs aggression. It is a 100% safe alternative to over-the-counter or prescription drugs, and there are no known side effects to worry about as CBD doesn’t contain THC.
The dosage will depend on your dog’s size and medical issues, so it’s always a good idea to talk to your vet to find the right dosage. Give CBD oil to your dog every day at the same time for the best results. Most dog owners find that morning is the best time to administer a dose, as this improves their dog’s aggression when a problem triggers it later on in the day.
Talk to a Veterinarian
Your dog may be aggressive because of an underlying health issue that you aren’t aware of. This is especially true if your dog suddenly develops aggressive behaviors when he normally doesn’t display them. Some health issues that can cause this type of behavior include brain tumors, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, or an injury. Your dog may be in pain, causing him to lash out when you try and touch the area.
Take your dog in for a full check-up with your veterinarian to rule out any medical problems. Medication or treatment for the health concern may cause a huge improvement in how your dog reacts.
Use Positive Reinforcement
To teach your dog new behaviors, you’ll want to use positive reinforcement at all times. If you need help, a trainer can assist you with figuring out which approach is right for your dog. For example, your dog may be aggressive toward other dogs. To train him with positive reinforcement, stand far enough away from another dog so that your pup doesn’t begin to snap or growl. Start giving him lots of verbal praise and dog treats as you begin to slowly get closer to the other dog. Stop when and if he begins to growl or act aggressively. Soon, your dog will equate strange dogs with treats, and you should soon see a drop in aggressive behaviors. You can use this type of method to get your dog used to different situations, as well.
Don’t Punish Your Dog
Punishing your dog for his aggressive behavior will almost always backfire. It can even escalate his aggression in some cases. For example, your dog might feel like he has to bite you in self-defense if you hit him or yell at him. It also teaches him to be scared of you in the future. Punishing a dog will only make matters worse, so be sure to only use positive reinforcement to train the aggression out of him. If you feel like you are losing your temper, take a break from your dog and walk away.
Consider Your Lifestyle
It’s important to consider the surroundings you live in when you own an aggressive dog. For example, if your dog is aggressive toward other animals and he is the only pet you have, you can keep him away from other animals a majority of the time. However, if he is aggressive towards kids and you have children in the home, you won’t be able to keep them apart. Pay close attention to the situation. You may have to consider whether your dog would be happier in a different home in some rare cases.
Talk to a Professional
If your dog doesn’t have an underlying medical condition and you haven’t had any luck training him, don’t hesitate to call a professional dog trainer. Aggression is a very serious issue that may call for professional help. A trainer will be able to determine why your dog is still aggressive and help create the right course of action.
If all else fails, aggressive dogs may do well with medication, either prescription or over-the-counter. Some dogs will only need the medication as a temporary fix. Your vet can discuss options with you if training isn’t doing the job.
There are many ways a dog shows aggression, from snarling to rigidness to growling to baring teeth. Of course, you’ll certainly know your dog is aggressive if they have bitten or attacked you or someone else. The first step toward curbing aggressive behavior is to find out why the dog is being aggressive. Many dogs display food aggression, meaning they growl and become defensive when they are eating or chewing on a bone. Others become aggressive with strangers. Some canines are simply territorial and possessive of their space or family.
Aggression isn’t always just toward a human, either. Many dogs are aggressive around other animals. Some are even aggressive toward inanimate objects, such as lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, and vehicles. Understanding when and why your dog is being aggressive is the first step to coming up with the right plan to modify his behavior.