Why can dogs become aggressive?
Although it is true that there are some breeds that naturally have a greater protective instinct and perhaps a lower threshold of tolerance, dogs are not born aggressive. Excluding cases of neurological defects, the root of aggressive behavior in dogs is usually the result of defects in socialization, fears and phobias, mismanagement of frustration, anxiety, excessive excitement, etc.
An aggressive dog is almost always an insecure animal that does not know how to correctly manage its fear or discomfort in a situation, so you should never punish your dog for growling or any other sign of aggression towards something it fears.
The first thing to know is that aggressive behaviors can always be reversed,
And thanks to your help, your dog will be able to leave these behaviors behind and have a better quality of life!
What happens when a dog becomes aggressive?
When a dog associates a situation or stimuli with negative emotions, such as frustration, fear, anxiety or stress, it may resort to aggressive behavior as a solution to protect itself or move away from that situation. There are always signs that tell us that a dog is not comfortable, such as: tension in the body, licking its muzzle, turning its head away, growling, tucking its tail between its legs or barking. If a dog continues to be exposed to a situation or stimuli that provokes emotions
negative. you are likely to develop an aggressive behavioral response. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention to these signs of distress that dogs show in order to prevent unwanted situations and lower the dog's temper before it exhibits aggressive behavior.
Identify the triggers of aggression
Here it is also important to note that the pain caused by disease can exhaust the animal and lead to unwanted behavior, such as aggressive behavior. Therefore, it is important to consult a veterinarian in order to rule out physiological causes.
In most cases, the triggers will be situational, and once they are identified, strategies must be developed to help desensitize the dog to those stimuli that make it react with aggressive behavior.
Causes and types of aggression: determine the motive behind this aggressive behavior
Under what circumstances does he begin to growl or show his teeth? Is he nervous around other dogs? Do you feel like you have to defend yourself or defend yourself? Are you afraid that someone might take your things? Depending on the reason, aggression can manifest itself in different ways:
- Self-defense: he feels uncomfortable in front of another dog or feels his freedom is restricted.
- Protective Aggression: Family members must be defended from the enemy.
- Protection of resources: such as, for example, the fight for their own object such as toys or a bed, or even their food. The dog feels that it has to protect them from others that can be other animals or people.
How to calm and educate an aggressive dog?
Adopt a strategy of desensitization and re-education.
In order for the dog to learn to correctly manage its negative emotions in the face of those situations that were identified as problematic, you must work together with a canine educator to help you develop safe strategies that respond to the particularities of your furry dog.
Note: it is important that your dog has already acquired the basic rules of obedience and that it attend to visual and auditory instructions. If not, work with a trainer first to build that foundation.
Your serenity and confidence are key to making your furry feel safe in this re-education process. Dogs have an amazing ability to detect people's moods, and your insecurity or nervousness can interfere with their learning. For example, your nervous state can cause leash tension which can put your dog on alert and result in aggressive behavior.
You are his guide and therefore you must transmit calm and security.
Should I muzzle my dog?
In the event that your dog already has a marked aggressive behavior and you think that it can ignore your instructions at a certain moment, you can put the muzzle on it. Don't feel bad, this is a temporary security measure, once your dog has learned to manage the situation on its own, you can forget about it.
Keep in mind that it is important to habituate the dog to the muzzle, for example, by putting snacks inside, which it will only be able to reach if it inserts its muzzle and gradually increase the time you leave it on, always reinforcing its behavior with affection and treats.
What to do if your dog attacks you?
There are situations in which a dog can experience such high levels of distress that it leads it to show aggression towards its owner(s). If you find yourself in this situation with your dog, or someone else's dog, it's important not to yell, move frantically (including run), or make eye contact, as all of these behaviors can be interpreted as challenging to the dog, increasing its levels of of stress.
If the dog still does not attack you can try the following to de-escalate the situation:
- Climb on top of something to claim the space.
- Get in the way of a large object like a trash can to create distance.
- Throw food or dog treats away from you to encourage the dog to move away.
If the dog is already attacking you can:
- Interpose a large object to protect yourself from being bitten or keep your arms in front of your body as a shield to avoid attacks on vulnerable parts such as the face or abdomen.
- If the dog bites you and won't let go, move your arm or body part into the dog's mouth, rather than trying to pull it out. This will prevent further tearing damage.
- Use food to motivate the dog to open its mouth and bite back or move away from you.
- If the situation reaches an extreme, curl up into a ball covering the back of your neck with your hands and stay as still as possible.
How can CBD help you reverse aggressive behavior?
CBD for dogs can be a great ally in helping your puppy work through its negative emotions, thanks to its natural relaxing properties, especially in the desensitization and re-education phase.
For example, administering a dose of CBD will make it easier for your dog to manage stress , frustration, anxiety or fear in the face of the stimulus or situation that causes those negative emotions. In this way, your dog will be able to approach that stimulus or situation with a more relaxed state of mind, which will facilitate desensitization and increase its confidence, progressively resulting in positive associations with that stimulus/situation.
In addition, CBD can speed up the re-education process as dogs learn more easily when they are in a calm and relaxed state. If the CBD comes in the form of treats it can be a great way to combine reinforcing good behavior while also instilling a sense of calm in your pup.
For dosage, uses and benefits of CBD in pets, visit our article Uses and Benefits of CBD in Dogs .
Aggression is one of the main reasons for abandonment, so it is extremely important to educate ourselves about the causes and try to help him eliminate unwanted behaviors in the healthiest way.
Remember that through re-education and training the bond between owner and dog is strengthened, which helps improve communication and trust.
What is your opinion about aggressive dogs? How do you identify the causes of aggression in your dog? What experiences have you had with your dog? Tell us in the comments!