The best way to deal with aggression in a dog is to prune his behaviors early on. Dogs are predatory animals so it’s only natural that one would show signs of aggressive behavior even as a puppy. It’s the master’s responsibility to train a dog to be submissive and obedient.
A dog will act aggressively on different occasions for various reasons. Among the most common reasons are:
- Fear or insecurity
- Protecting his territory
- Struggling for dominance
- Feeling trapped or threatened
- Boredom (chasing cars for example)
- The dog has been pampered and suddenly his needs or wants arenít being met to his satisfaction.
Show your dog who is boss from the very beginning. There must be no doubt in his mind that your every command is to be obeyed immediately. This will take dedication and patience to accomplish. A very well trained dog will respond favorably to his master’s commands even at a distance and without a leash. That is not to say though that you should ever take your dog out in public without a leash. Most communities have leash laws and even though you feel that you know your dog well, he may behave erratically in an unfamiliar situation.
Once your puppy has been de-wormed and had his shots you’ll do well to gradually introduce him to other dogs. Remain in control of his actions at all times. If the other dog becomes aggressive, hold your dog back to teach him not to respond to provocation. If your dog becomes aggressive you’ll need to take charge quickly. A stern “no” and short jerk on the leash will send him the message that this behavior will not be tolerated.
Another problematic behavior stemming from aggression is chasing cars, people, cats, other dogs etc. Not only is it unacceptable behavior but chasing has resulted in the death of untold numbers of family pets.
Chasing is instinctual, hunting behavior and nearly every dog will chase something at one time or another. Going against such a deeply ingrained and natural trait is truly a challenge. Since hunting behavior is necessary for survival in the wild, it is probably the hardest habit to break in a dog. Even if your dog is obedient at other
times he may very well ignore your commands and take off after that irresistible rabbit.
There’s no way to outrun a dog. He’ll leave you eating his dust every time. So how can you stop him from exhibiting this aggressive behavior from a distance? The answer lies in gaining control of his ability to go after what he wants in an enclosed space. Place a favorite toy or piece of food just out of his reach. Prevent him from going after it by holding him back with the leash. Tell him to sit and when he obeys you, shower him with praise. Then offer him the thing that he wants. By repeating this training you are teaching your dog that he’s not allowed to have anything without your permission.
Start your puppy’s training early on and don’t allow aggression to take hold. You’ll have fewer headaches, passersby will be safe, and your dog will be more likely to live a few years longer.