Dog Aggression


If you own, or are thinking about owning a dog there are some things you will need to know about Dog Behaviour if you are going to have a great relationship in the future.


Most experts recommend some kind of formal training. Your dog is still an animal at heart and in order for you to have the best relationship possible you will need to not only understand how your furry friend views what goes on in your house, but also look into what causes some of the responses in your dogs...


Dogs are still wild animals. Many dog owners and enthusiasts have been said to project human emotions onto their pets. Nobody argues that dogs experience the world differently to what we do; experts know that dogs have their own range of canine responses to situations that we cannot fully understand yet.


Most people are concerned about aggression and biting. And rightfully so, there are far too many stories about dogs who have been pushed over the edge. Nobody wants their children or loved ones to be injured by their dogs.

When you are trying to understand dog Behaviour it's useful to remember that your cuddly bundle is descended from wolves and sometimes these responses are innate. It's terrifying how common tales are of dogs savaging young children. You might think that it’s just Pit Bulls or certain breeds that do this kind of thing but it's common across all breeds. Children have the uncanny ability to make dogs angry without intending.


Most families will luckily never have to deal with anything remotely as traumatic but if you own a dog and have children; or have children visiting often - then you too must take some responsibility for their actions and behaviour.


If you have children in the house you will need to take some care to avoid becoming one of the almost five million Americans being bitten annually. While the majority of these dogs bite people who threaten them, or their owners. Teaching your children to respect other dogs will make a big difference. You want to prepare your children by teaching them a few simple rules about playing with the dog.


The first step is to understand the aggression. So, what causes dogs to become aggressive? There are a few different kinds of aggression that dogs experience. If they are scared they become aggressive, if something threatens their territory or family and as an act of dominance assertion. Dogs turn aggressive because they want to protect you.


An aggressive dog's ears will pin back; their tail might stand up and they will growl. The growl is a warning.


What’s the best way to deal with an aggressive dog?


If you have the luxury of realizing before something happens that the dog is upset and about to hurt your child or you there are some things you can do:


It's most important to try to keep as calm as possible; the dog will sense your fear

Speak in a soft voice - remove the disturbance if possible.


What can you do to prevent an aggressive dog?


Teach your children that the dogs have feeling too and are to be treated with care. This means no rough playing with the dog. Some breeds of dog become agitated and roughhousing can greatly upset them. Enough to bite your child!


If your children are very small you will need to take care to supervise them at all times. You cannot leave a toddler with a dog without risking something going wrong. Very young children do not understand how to treat animals yet.


The importance of having a well trained dog cannot be stated enough. When you get a puppy take them to obedience classes straight away. Even if you don't have children it's important to have a well trained dog. You don't want your beloved pooch to harm someone else's children.


If you have children and are considering buying a dog; there are some considerations that can make it far less likely for an aggressive dog. Choose carefully - some breeds are known to have a low tolerance and others are known to be child friendly. If you are thinking about bringing a new dog into the house then you will also need to establish a hierarchy. You are the pack leader and the dog must never be in doubt about who is in charge.


Socializing your puppy well will also ensure a smooth relationship. Get your dog used to remaining composed in stressful situations. Just make sure your dog is vaccinated first!


Reward your puppy for good behaviour. Professionals who work with dogs often use positive reinforcement to speed up the process. If your puppy grows up with the children you are far more likely to have an easier time.


If you have adopted an adult dog or your dog has picked up some problem behaviours then you might need to call in some help. Dog behaviourists have a proven track record with correcting problem behaviours in dogs. Check that they are licensed or belong to some kind of association. Also be sure to ask what kinds of methods they use to correct the behaviour.


Rather correct the behaviour before someone gets hurt and prevent tragedy before it occurs.


Try to encourage a loving but respectful relationship between your dog and the children. Most dogs don't take kindly to having their tails tugged while eating!


Dogs have a long standing relationship with humans - dogs love people and vice versa.  By following these pointers you should be assured of a happy calm dog that won't harm anyone.  A carefully trained dog will give you peace of mind and most importantly - become an important part of your family life.