Why Is My Dog Aggressive?
All dogs have aggressive tendencies every now and again. A dog expresses their aggression is shown by
either growling, lunging, or baring their teeth. In order to stop or prevent your dog from becoming
aggressive, it’s important to understand why they’ve become aggressive. Stay Dog discusses some of the
most common causes of dog aggression and what you can do to alleviate it.
Sickness. Some dog breeds can become aggressive when they don’t feel well. If your dog has never
shown signs of aggression before and suddenly starts growling, biting, or snipping at you, they may be
sick or in pain. From rabies to brain tumors, there are a variety of illnesses that can cause your dog to
exhibit aggressive behavior.
Solution. To find out if your dog is sick, make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. They’ll
be able to figure out what’s wrong and provide your dog with medication if necessary.
Fear. If your dog feels frightened or threatened, they may exhibit aggressive behavior as a means to
defend themselves. When dogs are scared, they most often will try to bite whatever or whoever it is
they’re afraid of. Abused dogs often showcase this type of aggression.
Solution. If you’ve recently rescued a dog who came from an abused home, take the time to train them
and make them feel like they’re in a safe environment. If your dog is simply scared (of a storm outside, a
guest entering your home), do your best to recognize what’s causing them fear and then pet them to
soothe their worries.
Possession. Whether it's food, a toy, a bed, or a yard, your dog may snip or growl at you, your family
members, or passerby if they feel like you're going to take something. The aggression your dog exhibits
really depends on what it is your dog is possessive of. For instance, if you have new friends over, your
dog may feel threatened and attempt to bite your guests because they feel as though they're trying to
take over their space. Most often, though, dogs are possessive over a particular toy and will only exhibit
aggressive tendencies in a playful way.
Solution. Recognize when your dog is attempting to play and give into it! If they’re truly begin
aggressive, say when you have guests over or a particular pup passes your yard, distract your dog with
positive things like toys or treats.
Frustration. If your dog doesn’t get enough attention or have a way to release their energy during the
day, they can start to exhibit aggressive behaviors. Dogs don’t know right from wrong, and if they’re
feeling frustrated, they can try to show you their frustration by acting out in negative ways. For instance,
if your dog is left outside a lot, they may bark or howl endlessly in an effort to attract attention.
Solution. Provide your dog with an outlet to release their energy. Whether it’s a daily walk, trip to the
park, or scheduled play time
If you’re not sure what to do about your dog’s aggressive behavior, contact StayDog. We have a team of
experts trained in doggie aggression who are ready to help you correct your dog’s bad behavior with
positive, effective methods!