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How to Deal with an Aggressive Dog: Inter-dog Aggression
Monday October 17th 2016
Inter-dog aggression can take place within a household with more than one dog in residence, or outside of the household when a dog displays aggression towards unfamiliar dogs. Although this may happen on the odd rare occasion, if a dog is commonly displaying aggressive tendencies towards other dogs, this can become a serious problem and can even progress to developing this type of behaviour towards humans.
Inter-dog aggression is most commonly seen in male dogs who have not yet been neutered once they begin to hit the age of puberty, however, it can occur in any dog of any gender. There are many different reasons why your dog might be displaying this kind of behaviour, and identifying the reason behind it is the first step to finding a solution.
A bad experience in their past is one factor which could be causing a dog’s aggressive behaviour. For example, if they have previously experienced a traumatic encounter with another dog this may cause them to be more fearful and wary, and this fear can then manifest itself as aggression towards other dogs.
Some dogs are more predisposed to this type of behaviour than others. For example, dog’s such as Pit Bulls were originally bred for fighting and might therefore exhibit this type of aggressive behaviour more commonly than other breeds.
The other most common reasons behind inter-dog aggression is usually due to fear, or an attempt to show their dominance and protect their territory.
Socialisation as a puppy:
One of the most common causes of inter-dog aggression is a lack of proper socialisation as a puppy. If your dog isn’t taught how to interact healthily with other dogs from a very young age, it can have serious implications on their behaviour later on in life, because it has never learnt that other dogs are not something to be fearful of.
In order to prevent this from happening, make sure you encourage your dog to interact with others from a young age. An effective way to do this is to enrol them in any form of ‘puppy preschools’ or obedience training, where they will be able to engage in positive interactions with other dogs. Alternatively, arranging a playdate with any nearby dogs is also an effective method to get them feeling comfortable around others.
Sometimes neutering your dog can be a way to put a stop to their aggressive behaviour, in both males and females. If your male dog is neutered, they will no longer feel the need to show dominance in fighting other dogs for their breeding rights, and if the females are unable to breed, they won’t show aggressive behaviour to any other dogs that show an interest in their babies.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this is not a guaranteed way to put a stop to aggressive behaviour and should be given serious consideration beforehand.
Showing dominance as their owner:
If you want to get your dog’s aggression under control, it is important to take the dominant role over all dog’s in the household. This will demonstrate to them a stable social hierarchy which they should be abiding by, and will also help you to earn their trust and respect which will be useful when you try to set boundaries and limitations for their aggressive behaviour.
If your dog’s aggression is caused by fear or anxiety, it can be useful to seek your vet’s advice as to any medical assistance they may be able to prescribe.
If you’re beginning to feel as though you’ve exhausted all of your options and the problem is still ongoing, it may be time to consult a professional animal behaviourist. They can offer tailored advice on how to handle your dog’s behavioural problems more effectively.
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.