Dog Aggression: What It Is and How to Stop It

For dog owners, their dogs are much more than companions or pets; they are part of the family. Having to deal with dog aggression is similar to having a child who has difficulty getting along with other students at school. When your dog is exhibiting aggressive behaviors, it gives you cause to worry.

How do you keep your dog from being or acting aggressively? What you need to know first on how to control aggressive dogs is to understand what aggression is. Second is to know what causes it prior to proceeding with aggressive dog training. If you knew the reason behind your dog’s aggressive behavior, you might be able to find better solutions. One of this might be reactive dog training.

Read further and find out what dog aggression is and learn how to stop it.


What Is Dog Aggression?

Dog aggression is an expression of different behaviors that happen in various situations. When people say they have an aggressive dog, the first thing that comes to mind is a dog who barks excessively and bites. However, aggression in dogs means different things and appears in different ways.

While some dogs can keep their aggression calm and never act out, others attack people and other dogs.

Whatever signs of aggression your dog exhibits, it is critical to understand what triggers that behavior before deciding on aggressive dog training. There are many reasons why a dog might act aggressively, and understanding the underlying cause will help you get the right and effective treatment for your pet.

Even though aggression in dogs is one of the most severe behavioral problems you can deal with as a dog owner, it can be corrected.


What Are the Causes of Dog Aggression?

Recognizing the source of your dog’s aggression is the first step toward resolving the problem. After identifying the causes, the next step is to comprehend them. So there are several causes for dogs to become aggressive.

Here are some of the factors that contribute to dog aggression:

  • Fear
  • Creating dominance
  • Pain
  • Illness
  • Defending territory or possessions
  • Stress

Types of Dog Aggression

Different dogs express their aggression in different ways. Here are a few types of aggression in dogs that some dogs exhibit.


1. Territorial Aggression

Some dogs tend to be aggressive in their bid to defend their territory or home from what they consider intruders. This is usually called resource guarding.


2. Protective Aggression 

Most dogs, especially mother dogs, can become extremely protective and aggressive toward any animal or anyone who gets closer to them.


3. Possessive Aggression

Dogs can be very possessive when it comes to sharing food or toys with other dogs. Most times, they tend to be very aggressive when other pets approach them during their meal time.


4. Fear Aggression

When your dog is faced with fear, it sometimes responds with aggression by launching an attack, especially when it thinks there is no other way to defend itself. 


5. Social Aggression

There are time when dogs can be aggressive toward other dogs in social situations. This is true, especially for dogs that are not socialized properly with people and other dogs. 


How Do I Help My Aggressive Dogs?

Having an aggressive dog can be very scary and difficult to handle. Once you learn to identify the signs of aggressive behavior and the different types of aggression in dogs, it’s time to discuss possible solutions.


Be Calm

One of the most important things to do when you have an aggressive dog is to remain calm. This is because if you respond to an aggressive dog with more aggression, nothing positive will come out of it. If your dog becomes aggressive, you must remain calm and use positive reinforcement training.

The reason behind this is dogs feed on energy, and whatever energy you display in your dog’s presence, it will copy. When you keep calm and relaxed in front of your aggressive dog, it will also mimic the same behavior and stay calm.


Examine Your Environment

Most times, dogs become aggressive for a good reason. Your dog might be aware of something nearby that you may not notice. So, if you can’t figure out why your dog is acting aggressively, look around to see if something isn’t right.

There could be something that you are missing that your dog’s heightened sense of smell might be picking up.


Remove the Source of Your Dog’s Aggressive Behavior

Suppose you notice that your dog is acting aggressively around something or someone; you can simply keep that thing or person away. For example, if your dog acts aggressively only around other animals, you can begin by simply keeping other animals away.

This is a temporary solution until you can get your dog trained, but it is an excellent way to stop the aggression.


Check Your Dog for Medical Conditions.

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If you notice your dog acting aggressively when that is not their usual temperament, then something else might be the reason. Your dog might be acting aggressively as a result of some underlying health condition.

This could be causing them pain and making them uncomfortable, hence the aggressive behavior. When this happens, it might be time to visit the vet to diagnose this condition, especially if you are not a dog trainer.


Avoid Repeated Punishment

Constant punishment for aggressive behavior can backfire and escalate aggressive traits. If you respond to an angry dog using the aversive method (yelling or hitting), the dog might want to protect itself by barking or biting you.


Get Professional Help for Your Dog Right Now!

If your veterinarian has identified a medical issue or your dog is still acting aggressively, it’s time to seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer. A professional dog trainer can assist you in determining the problem and developing an effective plan to help you manage it.



Our certified and experienced team of trainers is ready and committed to transforming your dog into the perfect pet. We offer several training methods, such as obedience training for different dog breeds. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

They can also devise techniques for dog behavior modification and dog aggression training.

Perhaps you are searching for “aggressive dog training near me.” Search no further. K9aholics has flexible training and behavior programs for you and your dog in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and other nearby cities.


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