Dog Aggression can be a very scary and potentially dangerous behaviour for your dog and other dogs that you might meet. Aggressive behaviour in a dog is used to either intimidate or harm another dog, animal or even person. Signs of aggression are easy to spot and consist of growling, snarling, baring his fangs, snapping, and of course biting. Though it’s quite natural, especially in the wild, it is usually not acceptable among humans.
Because aggressive behaviour in a dog is so complex and the consequences of this behaviour can be so serious, it is ideal to first understand the types of aggression. Your dog may be aggressive to display dominance in order to control his position within the ‘pack’. He could also be attempting to protect his territory or show possession of something like his yard or food. He could also simply be scared and show aggression motivated by fear. Finally, some dogs redirect their aggression when they become overly excited or aroused. In this case they might turn on their yard mate or even a person they already know.
If your dog is aggressive there are some things you should and shouldn’t do. First of all, make sure your dog is healthy with a visit to your veterinarian. Try to remove situations in which your dog becomes aggressive in the first place. Safety should be a priority and if your dog is prone to snap when someone gets in his face, put him outside or in another room if small children come over and want to play with the dog. You can also get your dog spayed or neutered. This will likely reduce the overall aggression of a dog.
Do not hit or overly punish your dog, especially if your aggressive dog is scared. Punishment is likely to make him more fearful and even more aggressive. Do not promote aggressive behaviour with rough games like tug-of-war of wrestling.
Finally, if the situation is beyond your control, seek the help of a professional dog trainer. An aggressive dog can lead to a dangerous situation, and ultimately, you are responsible for any damage or injury that is cause.