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Discover the reasons for aggression in your dog

Aggressive dogs can be quite frightening. They can frighten small children and adults alike. There are some breeds that are more likely to be aggressive but even so there is usually an underlying cause for aggression in dogs and finding out why your dog is aggressive can help you in your training efforts. A dog that is calm in most circumstances is an easier dog to have.

Sometimes excessive aggression is because your dog wants to establish dominance. Dogs are pack animals and there is always a pecking order to the pack. The alpha dog is the leader and the other dogs follow suit. Proper training will establish you as the alpha dog or the leader. Never allow your dog to think of himself as the alpha dog or you will continuously have problems. Even so your dog may still try to establish his dominance over other dogs or animals and this may be the reason for his dominance aggression.

Territorial aggression is also a frequent form of aggressive behavior. Your dog will fiercely protect the things he perceives to be “his” including you, your home and your family. This can be a positive thing but it needs to be contained or it can cause difficulties with neighbors and visitors. A dog that is excessively aggressive because of territorial issues is challenging to own.

Fear can cause a dog to lash out aggressively. Something happens that frightens him and he does the only thing he knows how to do which is to begin growling, pull his ears back, tuck his tail between his legs and act fierce. This is just a protective mechanism that is often misunderstood as being direct aggression but the truth is that something triggered the fear, which in turn started the aggressive behavior.

A dog’s aggressive behavior can be misdirected. Something happens that causes the dog to feel anxious yet he is not able to take his aggression out on what really caused the aggression so he takes it out on something else. This may be a reason why your dog may be fighting with other dogs for no apparent reason. He is releasing his anxiety and aggression that was caused by something else.

Sometimes aggression can be caused by a biological or medical reason. For example, we all understand that a mother dog may become aggressive in an attempt to protect her litter. Less understood though is that sometimes aggression can be brought on by a medical reason. That is why it is important to take your dog to the vet for a complete examination to rule out any medical problems.

Getting your female dog spayed and your male dog neutered can curb aggressive reactions. This can also contribute greatly to the good health of your dog. If you are not in the profession of breeding dogs it is just the responsible thing to do and it will make your aggression training easier.

Your training exercises to curb aggression will be more efficient if you take into consideration the reasons why your dog is being aggressive. Understanding the reasons for your dog’s aggressive tendencies can help you to tailor your training methods to his needs.


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