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There’s nothing lovelier when your dog tries to play with you as an expression of affection.
However, there are moments when dogs are in heat or some other reasons that make them aggressive.
This may not always be an issue that’s easy to overcome but can be resolved. How to calm an aggressive dog then?
Let’s understand first the behavior itself to know the appropriate approach need to be done.
What is Aggression?
Any behavior that exists for various reasons and circumstances refers to aggression.
Wild animals are virtually aggressive by nature when it comes to guarding their territories, protecting themselves, and defending their offspring.
Dog aggression encompasses different behaviors that typically starts with warnings and ends in an attack.
Notice of Aggression
Dog aggression may have different signs for a specific breed or environment they are into.
There are dogs that may be slicker in their aggression, while the others will have classic signs of aggression.
Take into account the warning signs of dog aggression. Some of them may only be playful, which may lead to being aggressive.
There are actually signs that will help you determine if your dog is in aggression state.
Among these aggression hints are as follows:
- Muzzle punching
- High arousal
- Rigid or still stance
- Baring their teeth
- Reactivity among shy dogs
- Nipping or biting
- Guttural, threatening barking
- Lunging or charging forward
Most of the time dogs follow these behaviors but there are also times when they don’t show aggressive signs and just suddenly attack.
You’ll be able to stop dogs from hurting anyone if you are more receptive to their behavior. But typically, they don’t just attack or bite right away without signs of aggression.
When any or some of the mentioned behaviors are noticeable on your dog, then take action for him to overcome the aggression.
However, there are considerations you should take into account.
Considering the Risk Factors
But before making a decision to treat your aggressive dog, you have to take into account some factors.
These factors come with some risks which should be considered to change his behavior. Among them are:
- Bite history
- Ease of dog motivation
How to deal with aggression?
What to Do When the Dog is Aggressive?
Make a Plan
Have the right plan to soothe the aggression of your dog so as not to try techniques which may not work well, or may only worsen things.
It’s either things will become worse or the aggression may slow down or stop dog aggression.
Get knowledge on some ways which will quickly soothe your pet and end the aggression. Find measures to soothe and calm them down. You may do the following:
- Remove your dog from the aggressive state
- Never raise your voice as it may only make things worse
- Speak to him calmly
- Leave your dog alone for several minutes so he can calm down himself
Usually, these are the easiest ways to prevent the aggression but making these constant may not be advisable.
This is exactly where you need a plan for appropriate dog behavior retraining rather than his inappropriate behaviors. It may take some time for this to work well but everything will be worthwhile in the long run.
Better Understanding and Management of Noticeable Changes in Your Dog
Once symptoms of aggression occur, you need to properly manage these changes on your pet before everything gets worst.
Handle the changes by:
- Preventing too much play situations
- Reinforcing calm behavior
- Introducing your young dog to well-mannered adult dogs
- Permitting and limiting your dog to only rehearse desirable behavior
- Teaching him how to calm himself
Proper Behavior Modification and Its Importance
Overcoming aggression can be solved through behavior modification.
This must be done the right way otherwise more problems will occur. Contrary to what people say, giving your dog a treat to modify his behavior may not be the best way to stop dog aggression.
You have to investigate the proper techniques for behavior modification that is more relevant to your dog and effective for you.
So to modify your dog’s aggressive behavior you need to have some techniques:
Best Measures on How to Calm an Aggressive Dogs
Here are some of the tips and tricks to calm your aggressive pet:
1. Staying Safe
When you have assessed that your lovely dog is at his state of aggressiveness, be better safe.
See to it that you have strong fencing. Keep your pet on a firm leash when on walks.
You may let him wear a muzzle whenever you have visitors or when you’re in public places. This, however, requires training especially when he is not used to it.
2. Use of Desensitization
As a pet owner, you need to understand that desensitization aims to expose your pet to things fearing him.
Teach him the “come away” command to leave a certain situation and come back to you. You may use this command to get his attention.
Expose him to his trigger safely and in control. Bring the trigger to his aggression closer and closer over a certain period of time.
Do this little by little.
3. Behavior Modification
How do you exactly modify the aggressive behavior of your dog?
Change how he responds to certain situations. This is where people usually begin when dealing with aggression. You have an option to get him a behavior trainer to show you some techniques you may try at home.
Of course, you need to apply these methods to see improvements in your dog’s behavior.
Teach your pet some simple commands like stay, come, or sit. This will serve as the foundation of the obedience of behavior training of your dog. You are actually preparing him for a more focused training to ease their aggression. It somehow helps him mitigate his anxiety and stress.
As a result, he will develop more self-control for their actions. It’s not good to push him fast for behavior modification.
Consider some cues indicating their preparedness to undergo training.
4. Environmental Modification
Changing the environment where your dog lives or stays can be helpful to lower the aggressive behavior of your pet.
You can actually do this by changing his diet.
Might as well reroute your walks with him to avoid the other aggressive dogs. Slowly introduce him to others.
Do small environmental changes like keeping him in a room all by himself until he calms down. He might just get overstimulated causing him to be aggressive.
5. Dealing with Aggressive Dog and other Behavior-Associated Issues
Lessen the chances for your dog to practice guarding behavior.
As much as possible, keep him from situations where he can exhibit or practice his guarding behavior. Teach him that guarding his food is not necessary.
Follow this up with any positive reinforcement.
6. Veterinarian Consultation
Talk with your dog’s veterinarian on the possible medical cause leading to his aggression.
Aggression can be due to medical issues like convulsions, increased body weight, rapid mood changes, hair loss, and lethargy. Consultation with your veterinarian can help diagnose these medical conditions who will then prescribe necessary treatment for your dog.
When you consult a veterinarian with regards to your dog’s aggressive behavior, you will be prescribed medications.
Your responsibility to modify his behavior and change his environment does not actually end here.
Remember that medication may not work by itself. Dogs requiring medication to ease their aggression usually have a higher anxiety level compared to an average dog.
Medications can be a great contributor to become more responsive to modification techniques. This can make them less impulsive and give them more self-control.
Some of these calming medications for dogs to treat aggression are:
A calming medicine for dogs like those listed above is not necessarily a quick fix although they are typically used in treating dogs with aggression or any other behavior-related issues.
They must not be considered in all cases. Your veterinarian will allow you to determine whether they are great for your dog.
8. Professional Help
In cases when your dog shows aggression toward other animals or people, it is crucial to ask help from a professional who can assess and offer long-term behavior modification assistance.
Never expect your pet to just grow out of his aggression or to get better on his own.
Keep in mind that aggression can be a very serious problem when neglected.
Though it is normal, you should not let your lovely dog stay aggressive.
Such behavior can be a cause for a potential disaster with liability risk. Dogs that demonstrate aggressive behavior — hissing, growling, and barking — can benefit from positive reinforcement (intended for a good behavior), socialization training, and the natural solutions containing some calming herbs.
It would be critical for pet owners to learn how to socialize an aggressive dog.
The measures mentioned above on how to calm an aggressive dog are critical whether you have encountered it with your dog already or not because sooner or later pets may show some aggressiveness. It is still better to know before anything unsolicited things happen.
Calming your aggressive dog isn’t that daunting right?