Why Do Dogs Respond Aggressively?

Aggression is a part of a behaviour pattern in animals. If we talk about dogs, aggressiveness is common but harmful for them and humans/pet parents if not treated in time. This piece will talk about ways, which will help pet parents understand what causes aggression in dogs and how to help them calm down. And most importantly, you will find details about different types of aggression so that anyone can identify its intensity and take measures to keep away from becoming one of the catalysts. Apart from that, treats can help resolve most of the behavioural issues of dogs, explore the dog treats online and choose from the world of flavours.

What is aggression or aggressive behaviour when it comes to dogs?

Aggression is a change in body language that indicates defensive behaviour in dogs. As we are familiar with the fact that dogs are intelligent, they have a superior memory concerning certain events of their life, and their ancestral instincts also play a major role in their expressiveness. This type of behaviour is often displayed when they feel anxious about someone or something.

When there’s a talk about aggressive dogs, some believe that it’s about being the pack leader or alfa theory. But it’s a myth. Aggression is a state or an intensity of response made to suppress others. If you think that your pet is becoming aggressive day by day, then it needs further escalation.

Dogs can express aggression in different ways such as, increase in their biting tendency, stiffness in their body posture and excessive snarling or growling at home or in front of strangers – humans or other animals during their walking or playing sessions. To be sure about their behaviour, keep a check on the state of their toys, especially plush toys. Check if they are torn apart severely, then it’s time to start your dog's treatment.

What are starting signs?

As discussed above, growling and snarling are the most common responses. However, there are other signs which you must be aware of before advancing toward dogs. Below are the signs that will help you understand whether your pet dog has aggressive behaviour or not:

    1. Rigorous Yawning
    2. Lack of eye contact
    3. Disobedience 
    4. Stiffness in their body
    5. Constant barking
    6. Sudden change in their body language
    7. Urinating constantly in the house
    8. Erected ears 
    9. Tensed tail, positioned between their legs
    10. Pulling up their lip to show their teeth
    11. Constant stare

      Whenever you identify such signs or any from the above mentioned, you will have to be extra cautious, so that they don't feel that you are provoking them. However, you can always consult a vet for any further advice.

      Identifying the source of their aggression and the possible solution

      There are different types of aggression in dogs, and each differs from one another based on different situations. Aggression is a type of situational response because they can’t speak in the same language as humans.

      Medical State

      When a dog is going through a certain kind of pain and is not treated in time, they become frustrated or irritated whenever a human or even an animal passes through them. This type of aggressive response occurs as a part of their defence, to keep others away from them. Some of the most common medical discomforts include arthritis, tumours, fractures, and the list goes on.

      Apart from such physical conditions, cognitive dysfunction can also be a reason for their growing aggression. What includes in Cognitive Dysfunction?

      Cognitive ageing, Disorientation, shift in the sleep cycle, Hearing or sight impairment and more.

      How to reduce such outcomes?

      During such situations, start their treatment without making any further delays because it will worsen with time. Seek a vet, let them understand their pet's medical history and examine them properly. Always follow the advice of the vet to help your pet live a peaceful life.

      Fear

      Fear is often the cause of all problems. Dogs sometimes exhibit certain fear based on their past recollection, it is seen mostly in the case of rescue or even stray dogs. They are seen growling at almost every person around the street. Sometimes they do that at other animals such as cows and other dogs.

      Have you ever noticed their behaviour once the rescue team arrive? It’s the discomfort that takes the shape of aggression in dogs. They consider everything and everyone around dangerous, and even when the rescuers attempt to help them, they start defending themselves with aggression. 

      How to reduce such outcomes?

      Guidance is the key to all behavioural problems. Look for a professional to identify the cause and follow their advice. It will be a slow process that will advance gradually, and you will see the results. Don’t be loud while expressing your concern to them; try to be as slow as you can. Offer them treats now and then, and once you accomplish, help them socialise. Try taking them out for a walk; remember, this is just a start, so introduce your pet to other people, step by step. Always remember, take this step as slow as you can otherwise their fear will aggravate. Treats play an important role in training, explore the best dog treats online at best online pet store in India.

      Possessiveness

      Sometimes the fear of losing their belongings gets converted into an aggressive state. It happens to all. Dogs are born with the nature of being protective. As soon as they grow old, they become protective of their belongings and sometimes their pet parents. So, as soon as anyone goes near their spot or their space, they start becoming defensive.

      While growing up, they start getting attached to their possessions such as dog collar, dog toys, dog food, dog bowl, dog bed, dog mat, dog leash and mostly everything that belongs to them. This behavioural response is because they want to show their dominance over other animals or even humans.

      Dogs are not born with this type of behavioural response. They acquire it because of their surrounding situations. It grows even further when not treated in time.

      Sometimes this type of behaviour gives rise to another aggressive response, fear of jealousy. It is aggression that is based on fear and possessiveness.

      Jealousy occurs because of many reasons. Once they get possessive towards their belongings, they shift their attention to their pet parents. Seeing pet parents around other animals and even other humans make them jealous and thus give rise to such kind of aggression. It can also be termed as protective aggression where they react aggressively towards anyone who tries to come near to the one which they are protecting.

      How to reduce such outcomes?

      This type of behavioural response grows with time but taking immediate measures to slow down this type of aggressive behaviour is essential

      Introduce your pet with multiple items such as different and attractive toys, food bowls, leashes, collars and more. Keep offering them different yet appealing products till the time they shift their interest. For example, place a different kind of food items in different bowls. Explore options for the best dog food online. Let them understand what you are offering. Try to put the more delicious food items in the new bowls rather than their previous ones. Make sure to keep your distance from them and let them settle down.

      The same goes for their toys, which offer different shapes and colours of balls, toys, and other chews. This approach will help reduce this possessive aggression. You can always take advice from the vet for any further treatment.

      Mating Stage

      This type of behavioural response occurs when dogs reach an age of sexual maturity. The age of sexual maturity is six months, but there can be a variation as per the different breeds. It arises their aggressive behaviour, and they tend to show when they have a company of other animals, say male or female dogs.

      Mainly this type of response makes them over competitive towards other dogs so that they can win over their partner. 

      How to reduce such outcomes?

      The best way to reduce such an aggressive response is to offer a mating partner to your pet dog. However, you can always take advice from the vet and get dogs neutered so that they can stay calm. It won’t give rise to any hormonal change in your pet. 

      Predatory

      Well, in simple terms, this means bullying. This kind of behavioural aggression occurs when the bigger dogs try to suppress other dogs to show their superiority. Sometimes a peer pressure triggers this behaviour, and your pet dog end-up reacting in a way that they are not supposed to. This kind of aggressive behaviour overpowers their peacefulness, and they end up reacting this way. 

      Your pet dog sees small dogs as their prey and therefore attempt to build an impression over them so that they can stay low and never try to compete with them. It can even happen around small children; they react to frighten them.

      How to reduce such outcomes?

      This type of behaviour has a single solution. Keep your dog away from such animals or human babies if they have any predatory instinct towards them. Seek professional help and understand more about their behaviour so that you can keep them and everyone around them safely.

      How to handle such situations?

      Below are some of the commonly practised approaches that can help to resolve the issue of aggression in your pets.

      • Notice small changes around them and try to identify what might have given rise to such behavioural responses. Is it because of the presence of the other animals when they go out for a stroll in the park? If you have been taking your dog to the same place every day for a walk, then try to shift it and see if there’s any change in your dog’s behaviour.
      • Always stay calm whenever you feel that something is bothering them. And when you see signs of aggression in your dog, step backwards slowly and give them some space. Let things go with the flow, make a slight effort and step away slowly, again. See if they follow and come back to you.
      • Never compromise in teaching them the right thing using the right way. Whenever you see your dog bullying others on the street or in the park, confront them at once and scold them. Teach them using different tricks that will help reduce the aggression. Check what’s motivating them to advance towards this behaviour and try your best to help them change.
      • Explore ways where you can teach your pet dog different commands. Try to use the 'settle' command whenever you want them to stay calm. It will help them reduce aggressiveness.

      You can always consult a vet whenever you are confused about tackling a situation with your pet. Always remember, this is a slow process, and change requires its own comfortable space and time. Use their guidance to help your pet become happy and peaceful so that they can socialise well and stay excited to meet new people and animals all the time. While training them at home, use the best dog treats among the dog treats online to get the desired response from them.