22 Jun 2022

7 Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Acting Aggressive and How to Stop It

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Why does my dog bite? Why does my dog chase cats? How can I stop my dog from barking all the time? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, then this article on why your dog may be acting aggressive and how to stop it will give you some answers, along with some great tips on managing your pup’s behavior and training him to do what you want him to do.

Understanding why dogs act aggressive

In order to stop your dog from acting aggressive, you need to first understand why he acts that way. There are several reasons that dogs can display aggressive behavior. As it turns out, there’s more than one way for a dog to be dominant—and his aggression may not be motivated by a desire for leadership at all! The most common reason dogs act aggressively is fear; if they don’t feel safe in their environment, they may lash out. Dogs can also become aggressive if they feel threatened by other animals or people; in these cases, their aggression is an attempt to protect themselves and their territory. Dogs who are left alone for long periods of time without adequate exercise or mental stimulation may become frustrated and act aggressively as well.

 

Fear aggression in dogs

The first, and most common form of dog aggression is fear-based. Dogs who fear something—like other dogs, humans, or even certain sounds or environments—will often growl, bark and lunge out of fear when faced with that stimuli. Dogs may also become aggressive if they’re afraid of being separated from their owner. This type of dog behavior problem can be resolved by teaching your dog how to properly interact with people and animals through positive reinforcement training techniques. A good trainer will help you understand what situations trigger your dog’s aggressive behavior, as well as show you how to manage it in a way that helps both you and your pet feel more comfortable in all situations.

Resource guarding in dogs

One common dog behavior problem is resource guarding: When a dog feels possessive of a valuable item or space. For example, if you want to pet your dog but he growls, snaps, or lunges when you reach for him, he may be exhibiting resource guarding. His body language may tell you that he feels threatened by your approaching hand and wants to protect his resources—which means it’s important for you both that you stop moving towards him until he can learn how to calm down.

Redirected aggression in dogs

Redirected aggression is when your dog barks, growls or bites at you when he’s actually mad at another dog. If a dog doesn’t have any problem with you, but constantly nips and snarls when you walk him by another dog, redirected aggression is possible. Sometimes dogs that are submissive in nature find it difficult to express themselves appropriately, so they take out their frustration on their owners instead.

Separation anxiety in dogs

Dog behavior experts say that separation anxiety may be a reason for aggression in some dogs. If you’re leaving your dog home alone for long periods of time, it can become distressed and stressed, which can lead to aggression. If you know you’ll be away from your dog for longer than he or she is comfortable with, find someone reliable (or schedule an automatic feeder) to come over and stay with him or her while you’re gone.

Aggression due to medical reasons

If your dog is aggressive due to any sort of medical condition, it’s important that you address that problem first. First and foremost, visit a veterinarian and rule out any underlying health problems that could be causing your dog’s behavior. Once you know there isn’t a physical cause for your dog’s aggression, consult with a certified trainer who can evaluate your dog's behavior and make recommendations based on their findings.

The Importance of Exercising Dogs

Dogs can be energetic and playful, so exercising them is an important part of owning a dog. Even if your dog is well-behaved, it’s a good idea to exercise it daily or several times per week. When dogs are not properly exercised, they tend to develop behavioral problems like chewing and aggression. So don’t neglect your furry friend—make sure you give him plenty of playtime and exercise every day! Here are some helpful tips for preventing dog behavior problems due to lack of exercise

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