Dog aggression can be a critical problem. Not only is it scary to see your beloved pooch turn vicious, it poses a serious threat to the safety of any people or dogs who come in contact with your aggressive dog.
Calming Aggression in Dogs
Aggressive dogs aren’t bad dogs, in fact, most aggressive dogs exhibit this “bad “ behavior because they are afraid of something (or someone). Your aggressive dog most likely believes there is a valid threat to him, his territory (your home), or you. He lashes out with aggressive behavior as a direct response to his perception of a threat.
Types of Aggression in Dogs
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• Mother dog aggression (protecting pups)
• Food aggression (can also include toys, collars, treats, and water bowls)
• Predatory aggression (hunting instinct)
• Pain aggression
• Social /dominance aggression (usually happens in un-neutered dogs)
• Frustration aggression (can happen when a dog is placed in a crate, or penned up away from humans)
• Learned aggression (dogs intentionally taught to be aggressive)
• Territorial aggression
• Fear aggression
Fear aggression in dogs is the most commonly seen behavior, with territorial aggression in dogs being the second-place contender. Dog behavior problems, such as aggression, are often encouraged (unconsciously) by the humans they love. Your dog is very sensitive to your emotions, and your own fear, anxiety, and negative emotions can contribute to his own negative emotions and actions. Learning to control your own emotions and project calmness toward your dog during his outbursts is key to helping him stop this unwanted behavior. If he sees you as his “pack leader” he will follow your cues closely.
How to Stop Dog Aggression
Aggressive dog behavior, like most other behaviors, can be stopped with interventions aimed at solving the root of your dog’s problem. To start, you can begin by helping your dog to physically deal with his stress and fear. In a study conducted in 2000 entitled “Effect of dietary protein content and tryptophan supplementation on dominance aggression, territorial aggression, and hyperactivity in dogs”, dominance aggression in dogs was shown to be decreased with trytophan supplementation and switching to a lower protein diet. Chamomile and Ginger Root are also natural supplements that have been shown to help dogs with aggressive behaviors.
Treating the root of your dog’s aggression requires understanding what motivates your pup to act aggressively. If you’re only seeing aggression towards other dogs, your dog is showing signs of social or dominance aggression and needs to be neutered (if he’s not already) and to be reassured that he is not the alpha male. Asserting yourself as the leader of the home (and your dog) will help him feel free to relax and relinquish his perceived sense of control over other dogs.
Your dog may also show a fear of the vacuum cleaner, garbage truck, or the even the toaster. These types of items cause sudden loud noises that can startle your dog. Desensitizing him to these items is key to relieving his fear. You can use special dog training apps to expose your dog to these sounds repeatedly, or use tactics like feeding your dog near the (unplugged) vacuum everyday.
Tips for Stopping Aggression in Dogs
• Identify what triggers your dog’s aggression
• Switch to a low-protein diet
• Use natural supplements containing trytophan, chamomile, and ginger root
• Desensitize your dog to loud noises (as a puppy if possible)
• Distract your dog when aggressive behavior is imminent
• Redirect your dog’s extra energy through play
• Control your own emotions so you’re not transmitting anxiety or fear to your dog
Dog experts can teach you how to deal with an aggressive dog, and consulting a professional dog trainer on how to stop aggression in dogs may be easier than trying to diagnose the problem yourself. The safety of your dog and the people who come in contact with him are always the highest priority. If you are unable to stop your dog from exhibiting aggressive behavior, seek the help of an expert to protect your dog and others.
Calming Your Hyperactive Dog
If you have a hyperactive dog, you know how frustrating it can be to live with an endless ball of bouncing energy. Some dog breeds are just naturally high-energy, while others seem to have bounciness as part of their individual personalities. Hyperactivity in dogs is one of the most common causes of owner surrenders at dog pounds and Humane Societies across the country. But a hyper dog can be trained to behave, with a few interventions.
How to Calm a Hyper Dog
Like treating aggression in dogs, treating hyperactivity in dogs requires a lower-protein diet. High protein fuels high energy, and switching foods can help your dog’s body adjust to calm periods. Supplementation with trytophan, chamomile, and ginger root can also help your hyper dog relax naturally, with chamomile being the most popular supplement. Physical exercise is an essential part of your dog’s day, and he may require more than one play session each day to help your pup expend his energy. Training your dog to sit, wait for food, and not jump on people can also go a long way to making your cohabitation easier.
How to Stop a Dog From Chewing Your Possessions
Dealing with your dog’s overabundance of energy is essential to his wellbeing. If your dog chews everything, he has unspent energy and needs more play time added to his daily schedule. You can’t stop dogs from chewing, but you can provide a safe outlet for this natural instinct by providing natural dog chews.
Separation Anxiety in Hyper Dogs
High-energy, hyperactive dogs are often prone to anxiety. Anxiety in dogs is a common problem, especially separation anxiety. Dogs are social beings, and being separated from you is very traumatic for some dogs. If you know you’re going to be away from your high-energy dog, be sure to schedule rigorous playtime before you need to leave. Also, provide plenty of outlets for his excess energy while you are gone, like toys, chewies, comfort items, and even leaving the TV on for company.
Separation anxiety in dogs can be difficult to treat, but the key is patience and understanding. Dogs with separation anxiety are focused on you, making them great dogs, but they are lost when you are away. Practice being alone for short periods of time throughout the day and work up to longer separations as your dog adjusts to being alone. Give supplements about 30-60 minutes before you’re scheduled to leave, so they have time to take effect. A hyperactive dog may need a play break partway through the day, so if you can’t come home on your lunch break for a quick run in the backyard, consider asking a neighbor or friend to take your dog out for you.
Training is Key
Training your dog is crucial to helping your dog fit into a human’s world. If you’re living with a dog with aggressive behaviors, separation anxiety, or hyperactivity, you’re probably miserable, and so is your dog. Training can help eliminate many unwanted doggie behaviors. A few easy tricks and polite doggie manners can result in a dog your whole family can enjoy.