Having your dog display aggressive behavior can be concerning, especially since it could lead to injury, lawsuits, or even the death of another animal or person. Fortunately, dealing with aggressive dog behavior isn’t difficult if you take immediate action. Here are four steps you should take as soon as possible if your dog shows aggressive behavior.
1. Remove the Stimulus
In some cases, a dog’s aggressive behavior can be traced to a distinct external course. It could be another dog, a certain environment, a person, or even an object. It may even be a smell that you can’t detect. Regardless, you want to remove the stimulus that is causing your dog’s behavior problems. If this isn’t an option, you’ll want to separate your dog from the stimulus instead. Whether or not this is a temporary solution or a viable long-term solution, depends on the nature of the stimulus itself.
2. Use Disciplinary Action
This step should be taken with a side of caution. While disciplining your dog can teach them to stop bad behavior, it can also incite them more in case of aggression. Whether or not you discipline your dog for displaying aggression depends on several factors such as how aggressive they’re being, how they respond to discipline, and whether or not your dog has a history of aggressive behavior. If your dog isn’t receptive to disciplinary action or has never shown aggressive behavior before, you may need to find another solution.
3. Reevaluate Your Dog’s Lifestyle
If your dog hasn’t shown aggression before and you can’t pinpoint the stimulus that’s causing it, you should reevaluate your dog’s lifestyle. A dog that isn’t getting proper nutrition or exercise can exhibit personality changes. Likewise, a dog that’s in pain or suffering from psychological issues such as loneliness or depression could also express itself through aggression. In any case, every dog is different so make sure to take a moment to assess anything that could be causing the problem.
4. Work with a Dog Trainer
If all else has failed, or if you consider your dog’s aggressive behavior to be an emergency, then hiring a professional dog trainer would be your best bet. Dog trainers have worked with many dogs to help curb their problematic behavior. This gives them the experience and knowledge they need to help you get your dog to stop behaving aggressively. If you’re worried about your dog attacking the trainer, just realize that they will be able to tell whether or not it is safe for them to work with your dog so you don’t need to worry about that.
Dog aggression is a serious issue and should be treated as such. An aggressive dog can injure or kill and in doing so, have to be put down. To avoid these kinds of situations and the potential lawsuits they could bring with them, take steps to deal with your dog’s aggressive behavior as soon as possible.