Aggression in dogs: causes and solutions
Aggressive pet behavior is dangerous for people and animals
We understand the reasons for the aggression of a four-legged friend and find ways to solve the problem.
Why did the dog become aggressive? Causes of aggression
The pet does not become aggressive overnight. There are always signs indicating aggressive tendencies of the dog. And the owner can aggravate these tendencies if they do not identify them in time and correct them.
- Wrong. education and training;
- Lack of communication with the person;
- Excessive rewards and / or punishments;
Most forms of aggression are undesirable for the pet dog. However, some species are needed to train working dogs. Territorial aggression is used for guard dogs, protective. for training service animals.
Play aggression in a dog
Play aggression is mainly seen in puppies and young dogs. During the game, the pet barks, growls, snaps, grabs the hand, clothes, can bite.
Aggression due to pain
Aggressive behavior shows that the pet has been hurt. This type of aggression arises from the instinct of self-preservation. The animal not only bites the one who will hurt him too much, but can also kill. Never beat a dog for disobedience, do not raise your voice, keep your cool. Praise and give a treat when the pet calms down. Tell your children not to hurt or hurt your dog.
Dominance aggression occurs most often in males, less often in bitches, usually at an early age. Dogs perceive the human family as their pack. Therefore, it is important to determine the place of the dog in the house in relation to the rest of the family. The kid should immediately understand who is the boss in the house and whom he will obey. On the hierarchical ladder, the dog must occupy a place below all family members, especially for small children.
What to do if your Puppy is Agressive | Aggressive puppies
Also discuss the dog’s rules of conduct in advance. Their observance should be monitored by all people living in the house. It is unacceptable for one family member to allow and another to forbid.
The main types of aggression in dogs
Aggressive behavior of a dog is based on instinct. However, most types of aggression develop and progress during the pet’s life. Beating, isolation, humiliation will not solve the problems associated with the pet’s behavior, but will only increase them.
Next, we will analyze the main types of aggression in a dog, their signs and methods of elimination.
What is the reason for the dominant behavior of the dog
Domestic dogs, having lost quite a lot of the qualities of their wild fellows, nevertheless, remained pack animals, only now the families where they live are becoming their flocks. The dominant behavior of a dog is based on its ideas about the hierarchy in this pack and its own status in it. And if the ideas of “equality and brotherhood” are quite acceptable for a person, then the dog is distinguished by strictly hierarchical thinking. In order to feel confident and protected, it is vitally important for the dog to know what place in the hierarchy of the pack it occupies and who is the “leader”. And she has only two ways to find out: either the owner determines the place of the dog in the pack, or she will determine it herself. Guess what place the dog will try to occupy itself, if it has such an opportunity? Of course, the place of the leader, who decides for himself when and what to eat, where to sleep, how to behave with strangers, etc. Thus, dominance is the behavior of the leader, and it does not necessarily mean it is expressed in open aggression.
Most often, the first manifestations of this behavior are quite harmless, and that is why the owners ignore them, preparing the ground for serious collisions with the dominant dog in the future. As already mentioned, “dominance”, “dominant behavior” often does not give the impression of being aggressive. In contrast, aggression is the attack of a dog in order to defend its dominant position. These include growls, bites, defiance, and escapes. A dog shows aggression when, through an oversight and inattention of the owner, it ALREADY decided that it occupies a dominant position in the pack, and the owner and other family members, in the dog’s opinion, are trying to challenge this position. Thus, it is necessary to separate the concept of “dominance” and “dominant aggression” of the dog. In order to prevent manifestations of dominant aggression, it is necessary from the first days of the puppy’s appearance in the house to suppress any manifestations of dominant behavior, no matter how harmless and even cute they may seem to you.
Dominant Aggression in Dogs: Causes and Correction of Aggressive Behavior
Demonstrative non-observance of commands, barking, growling and attack on people and other animals, inadequate “protection” of food, bowls, toys and one’s place, expression of displeasure or resistance when cutting, bathing and other hygiene procedures, “sudden deafness” while walking when prompted to the owner. this is just an incomplete list of problems faced by owners of dogs showing dominant aggression. When faced with this behavior for the first time, most owners feel confused and angry. As a rule, a dog’s aggression is perceived as a surprise, and when talking about their problem, people often use the words “suddenly”, “out of the blue”, “for no reason“.
However, even if it seems to you that the dog bites, growls, attacks the owner, rushes at other people, dogs and cats for no apparent reason, in fact, the reasons for the dog’s dominant behavior always exist, and most often these are the owner’s mistakes made long ago. before the dog first showed aggression and disobedience. In other words, the dominant behavior of the dog is those “flowers” that grow from the “seeds” sown by the owner, who has a wrong idea of what a healthy relationship with a dog is.
Fortunately, in most cases, dog dominance and associated aggression can be corrected and corrected. However, it is much easier to prevent dominant aggression in a dog. This requires, first of all, to understand the essence and roots of the problem itself.
Important! Before you start correcting aggressive dominant behavior, make sure that the aggression in the dog is not caused by any other reasons: physical ailments, fears, changes in the environment and the family where the dog lives. To exclude these factors, take the dog for examination to a veterinary clinic and consult with a specialist dog handler.
How to reeducate a dominant dog, what to do if the dog shows aggression
When dealing with a dominant individual, you must, first of all, adequately assess your own strength. Sometimes it happens that the dog simply has a higher level of energy and inner strength than its owner. In this case, the latter is unlikely to be able to convince the dog of his leadership. Remember. it is better not to enter into confrontation and open conflict with the dog if you are not sure that you can win. Do not compete with your dog in what it is really stronger than you (for example, in the strength of the jaws and speed of running). Choose areas for pressure in which you can fully maintain control: first of all, it is food, affection, attention in order to reward the desired behavior (and deprivation of all this in case of disobedience). Punishment by restricting the dog’s freedom with a leash, muzzle, strict collar, or crate if it tries to impose its behavior also works well. If “soft” methods do not help, you can apply a physical effect to the dog: grab it firmly by the scruff (you can even lift it into the air, if the size allows it) and rub it well. In some cases, a bite to the withers helps. this is how the “leader” puts other members of the pack in place. In no case do not retreat despite growling and resistance until the dog assumes a “submission posture”. the tail is drawn in, the growling is stopped, the dog fins, sometimes even lies on its back with its belly up. If, in the course of sorting out the relationship with the dog in response to its resistance, growls and bites, the owner retreats (even going into another room for some object to punish the dog can be taken as a retreat). thus he only once again convinces the dog that that she is the leader. That is why it is necessary to sensibly assess your strengths, choosing a way to influence the dominant dog.
If the dog’s energy level significantly exceeds the owner’s strength, the best solution for both is separation. However, in most cases, it is quite possible to cope with dominant behavior.
Ways to prevent and correct the dominant behavior of the dog
As with any problem, dominant aggression is easier to prevent than to fix. Prevention of dominance is especially important when raising dogs of large breeds, as well as males and bitches, who are prone to fighting for the place of “leader” due to their temperament. Nevertheless, even a tiny Chihuahua, with the wrong upbringing, can become a real tyrant, no less dangerous than a pit bull or a Caucasian shepherd dog. In fact, the phrase “dominant dog breeds” is meaningless. most often we ourselves make out of sane animals uncontrollable monsters.
How to become a “leader” for a dog? Consider the areas of puppy-owner interaction in which you can demonstrate leadership to the dog.
Place to rest and sleep: the dog should have its own clearly defined place in the house (it is better that it was not an ordinary rag-bedding, but a comfortable bed for dogs), and from early childhood be accustomed to return and stay on it at the command “Place ! “. Many owners allow their dogs to lie wherever they want. This is not a problem if in general the dog behaves obediently and does not show a strong desire to dominate, but in case of difficulties with dominant aggression, it is necessary to categorically suppress all attempts of the dog to perch in the place that belongs to the leader, that is, you. It is also useful to periodically sit in the dog’s place for a while, first driving it out of there. Also, the dog can show dominant behavior in this way: it simply lies down across the corridor or in the doorway and does not give way when it is necessary to walk past it. In order to demonstrate the behavior of the leader in this situation, you do not need to go around or step over the dog. just push it out of the way. Growling? So there is a problem with dominance).
Food: Train the dominant dog to start eating only on the command “You can!” This is how you consolidate your leadership position. If your puppy is trying to defend the food by keeping you out of the bowl, try feeding him holding the bowl with your hand. Then say “No” and take the bowl, then put it back and do not allow to touch the food before the command “You can” sounds.
Play: To avoid the dog showing signs of dominance, follow a few simple rules:
1) the owner, not the dog, starts and ends the game;
2) toys must be given to the owner unquestioningly;
3) if you play tug-of-war with the dog. in no case give the toy if it starts to growl and show aggression: this will reinforce the idea in the dog’s mind that it is worth roaring. and he will get what he wants.
Weasel: it is unacceptable to caress the dog excessively, or to “comfort” the dog in any way in the event of undesirable behavior, for example, aggression, cowardice or hysteria. Weasel should be dosed out and mainly as a reward for good behavior. It is difficult for humans to believe this, but setting clear boundaries and tough, reasonable discipline makes a dog happier than continuous whispers and vague rules of behavior that do not give him a clear idea of the hierarchy in the pack.
Walking: dominant walking behavior is most often manifested in unwillingness to approach on command, as well as growling, barking and aggression towards people and animals without the permission of the owner. Many intelligent dogs, to consolidate their dominant position, use the trick with “sudden deafness” or when giving the command “Come to me!” sit down in the bushes “on business”, which gives them an “iron alibi” and the opportunity not to carry out the command. Such behavior is “treated” by methodical daily practice of the commands “Come to me!”, “Nearby”, “You cannot”, “Sit”, “Lie down”. Walking can also be used to release excess energy from the dominant pet: a dog that has spent a couple of hours working on the site or after an intense run will not have much strength left for the battle for leadership at home.
Hygiene procedures: it is necessary to accustom the puppy as early as possible to the fact that the owner can do whatever he wants with him (within the framework of common sense, of course). The dog should unquestioningly allow cutting its nails and fur, washing its paws, examining its teeth, cleaning its ears, not resisting when it is necessary to give an injection or carry out other unpleasant medical manipulations. This not only reinforces the owner’s leadership, but can also save your dog’s life in an emergency.
Obedience training, command execution: in addition to the obvious practical benefits of teaching commands, training as a form of interaction between a dog and a person in itself helps to avoid the dominant behavior of the pet, since in the process of working out commands, the dog learns to FOLLOW the owner’s orders, that is, to get used to obedience and obedience. Also, with the help of commands, you can suppress unwanted forms of behavior: for example, it will be quite difficult for a dog who has been commanded to lie down to rush at passing cyclists in this position. Regardless of what breed your dog is and how small and harmless it is, do not neglect teaching basic OKD commands. this will greatly facilitate life in the future for the dog, for yourself, and for those around you.
Examples of dominant dog behavior:
As mentioned above, dominant behavior is the behavior of a leader who makes decisions himself, who leads the whole flock, who gets all the best! As a rule, different dogs show different signs of dominance, but in general terms, the behavior of the leader manifests itself as follows:
Also, there are often cases when there is no problem with obedience to the owner, but the dog growls at the child and other family members. Most likely, she recognizes the leader in the owner, but considers herself “the second person in the state.” It is unacceptable for a dog to consider someone in the family “lower” of itself.
Algorithm for correcting aggressive behavior
Determine how your dog is exhibiting dominant behavior. You can even make a list, for example:
-does not allow you to take your bowl while eating;
-on a walk he misses the command “Come to me”;
The next point is rather difficult. You need to observe your behavior, and understand what actions contribute to the fact that the dog does not recognize you as a leader. Here, too, you can make a list, for example:
-if the dog does not approach me, I repeat the command many times, or simply ignore its behavior, agreeing that it does not listen to the command;
-I praise the dog just like that, even if she just did something bad.
Ask other family members and friends for their perspective on what you are doing wrong with your dominant dog.
Write down how you plan to change your behavior in relation to each manifestation of the dog’s dominant behavior:
-I will start practicing commands with the dog that it does not follow;
-I will stop giving the dog pieces from the table and feeding him first;
-I will punish the dog when dominant aggression is shown and not back down when growling and other manifestations of discontent on its part.
Start working with the dog as soon as possible according to the chosen scheme. Practice the commands methodically and consistently and stop all attempts of the dog to dominate. Explain to loved ones that the dog has problems with dominant aggression, and ask them not to reward it. If you find it difficult to isolate your mistakes on your own, seek help from an instructor who will help you develop the correct line of behavior. There is also a wealth of literature available today on dog training and behavioral management to help you address aggressive dog dominance problems. Remember. in order for something to change in the behavior of the dog, first of all, it is necessary to change the behavior of its owner.
The dog became aggressive: why and what to do?
By nature, dogs are fairly calm and peaceful animals. Service and fighting dogs, hunting and guard dogs, of course, have aggression in their character, but it manifests itself only in situations that require it. At other times, they are friendly and will not cause damage without a reason. But sometimes the pet loses control.
Aggression, which at first glance has no cause, can hide emotional or physical trauma, irritation or loss of understanding.
A Lesson in Aggression | Dog Whisperer
How can this turn out?
The aggressive behavior of the animal is unlikely to go unnoticed at home. An angry dog can seriously scare even the person who has truly and always loved the dog. Therefore, it is important to be aware not only of the reasons that led to such manifestations of aggression, but also of what this may eventually turn into.
The most important thing in such cases is how the person behaves, towards whom the anger is directed. If the one who caused the animal’s aggression escapes, hides from her eyes, then with the next encounters the anger can only increase. Such a reaction of the animal can be explained by ordinary instincts that were laid in him by nature. Her inappropriate behavior scared someone, and, consequently, the dog will begin with increased zeal to try to protect himself and his home. The same will happen if, on the contrary, the dog is taken away from the subject of its aggressive behavior.
If the object of aggression does not disappear from the dog’s field of vision, but begins to approach it, then the dog will become more frightened and begin active actions aimed at protection: it will not only bark and grin its teeth, but can also attack.
It is also very important how the owner of the dog will behave. The dog always tries to take into account the opinion of its owner, and if he is indifferent to the fact that his pet is dissatisfied, then he may begin to experience even greater fear, while fearing for the person. Again, when the owner of the dog tries to forcibly calm his pet, then this also becomes a temporary measure. This can scare the dog even more, and the dog may lose control.
Varieties of aggression
A dog can have only two types of aggression, which include congenital and acquired. The first is inherited, so it can be difficult to suppress it. Usually, this happens with service dogs, and if the owner has a desire, then the pet’s behavior can be corrected. To do this, you will need to undergo a training course, the character of the animal undergoes changes, and after a while the pet simply becomes unrecognizable. But learning is a difficult and time-consuming process.
Aggression of the acquired type can appear in a dog as a consequence of a specific reason. Along with humans, dogs can feel fear, emotional or physical pain. These, as well as a number of other reasons, can turn into manifestations of aggression, which can become sudden, uncontrollable, as if from nowhere.
Sometimes an animal can show unprecedented aggression when it is just entering puberty. In such situations, the dog’s mood can change dramatically, he sometimes becomes unusually angry, then on the contrary. timid and shy, sometimes he is closed in himself, and sometimes he is extremely sociable. Various attempts to display dominant behavior can be combined with jealous behavior, when the pet may harbor resentment or real anger at the fact that its owner pays his own attention to other household members (including children) and even other pets.
Sometimes you can even find food aggression. As unusual as it may sound, it is by protecting its own right to food and food itself that a dog can even injure other people. Many owners cannot solve this problem on their own.
- Dog gets nervous while waiting for a bowl of food.
- The dog can be angry when eating food. he does not allow you to approach her and touch the bowl.
- The animal shows anger towards those who just walk by.
Food aggression can affect absolutely every member of the family who lives with the animal in the same room.
Congenital aggression completely and entirely depends only on heredity, so the only thing that can be done is to raise the pet correctly. But there are other reasons that are random, temporary:
- Fear. If your pet is scared, then the natural reaction to the fear will be aggression in order to protect, which is quite normal and not a deviation.
- Disease. In some situations, animals can show malice to protect themselves from humans if they are in pain. Not every dog will be able to show patience and expect help, many are afraid of this. And when you feel pain, the dog may bark loudly, growl or even bite the hand that caused the pain.
- A sense of competition. The dog can compete for the most convenient place or its territory, if pets still live in the house. They are only engaged in the division of the area, therefore, they demonstrate aggression.
- Mother’s aggression. She is always against a person. If the dog has borne and gave birth to puppies, then sometimes you should not approach them, as it is excessively dangerous. There are breeds that even deliberately hide puppies from humans for a while.
- Lack of comfort. In such cases, sometimes the pet can lose control. Lack of banal living standards, poor food, lack of a place of their own, dampness or being in the cold turn into harm to dogs.
How to provide first aid to an animal
In the case of those pets that can only occasionally show manifestations of aggression, it is important to first remain attentive and careful. It is important not to allow the situation to get out of control, but only to deal with its prevention. If there is a possibility that your pet will start to get nervous, worried, then you can take him for a short walk, choose a different path, or prevent the animal from seeing certain people. In other words, it is important to try to predict the possible development of events and look ahead.
An animal that can show aggression at any time should be kept under special control. To do this, you need to use:
- Dog’s lead.
Sometimes breeders use a cage in this case. But, if the animal does not know how to live in it or is not accustomed to such conditions, then this can turn for her into an additional source of worries and stress. Therefore, this option can only be used for some dog breeds that know from puppyhood what an aviary is.
Thus, we can come to the conclusion that the only way to help a pet with his aggression is to avoid situations where she can act in an undesirable way. The owner will need to use a leash, lead the animal to the side, try to draw her attention to something neutral, pleasant for the dog. A similar method is used for walks. At home, you can try to isolate your pet from the object of aggression.
Ways to deal with manifestations of aggression
If the animal has already been noticed or suddenly began to demonstrate aggression, then you will first need to contact a veterinarian or dog handler. This will help identify the factors contributing to this behavior and choose therapy.
- Socialization. The owners are not just trying to take their pets for a walk in public parks even as a puppy, introducing them to other animals or people. This gives the puppy an opportunity to socialize, to see how multifaceted the big world can be. If the dog grew up in a cage, then other animals and other creatures can cause fear in him, which turns into aggression.
The rabies virus belongs to the Rhabdovirus family, which includes bullet-shaped RNA viruses. In the tissues of the central nervous system, accumulations of virions take part in the formation of Negri bodies, which are round, oval or irregular inclusions that are of great diagnostic value, since they are not found in healthy animals and in other diseases. Rabies virus is able to multiply in chicken embryos and a number of primary and grafted cell cultures.
The rabies virus is not highly resistant to physical and chemical factors. While retaining its virulence in the tissues of the central nervous system, protected from decay and drying out for months, it is inactivated within 5-15 days under the conditions of drying this pathological material. Infected saliva remains infectious for a day, and when dried. no more than 14 hours. At a temperature of 52-58 ° C, the agent dies in 30 minutes, and at 80 ° C. in 2 minutes.
Rotting slowly destroys the virus. in 15-30 days, and in the surface layers of the soil it can persist for 2-3 months. On the contrary, the rabies virus is highly sensitive to conventional disinfectants in 2-5% concentration, alcohol, tincture of iodine, formaldehyde, sodium hydroxide and detergents, becoming inactivated within a few minutes.
Sick dogs are euthanized due to lack of effective treatments and high risk of spreading infection
Why bitches are expected to behave more calmly and peacefully?
And in fact: those few scientific studies in which they studied the effect of castration on the character of bitches, quite amicably confirm: it is possible that neutered bitches are indeed more aggressive.
For example, a large team of veterinary specialists from two Canadian universities. Prince Edward Island University and Purdue University. have conducted extensive research into the factors associated with dog aggressiveness. In total, more than three thousand animal owners were interviewed. The information received was subjected to mathematical processing.
The results of this study showed that in very young, immature dogs, there is no difference in propensity for aggressive behavior between spayed and unsterilized animals. namely, growling, defensiveness and biting. But in adult dogs, such a difference was found. Sterilized bitches growled twice as often as unsterilized bitches, and bite twice as often. As for the protection of the territory, the protective qualities of females (and, incidentally, males too) did not suffer from castration either. There was even a slight increase in the propensity to defend their territory (although it cannot be called mathematically confirmed. in contrast to the propensity to growl and bite, which was significantly higher than in unsterilized animals).
Since the authors of this study were very conscientious about the analysis of their results, they had a doubt: did they confuse the cause with the effect? Isn’t the true reason for the pattern they found that biting dogs are simply spayed more often? As it is customary to do in scientific work, in order to be convinced of the correctness or incorrectness of their assumptions, the authors of the work compared their results with the data of similar studies conducted independently by other scientists. As it turned out, these data also speak in favor of the fact that castration may be one of the reasons for the increase in the aggressiveness of bitches.
Thus, the work of veterinarians-researchers from the University of Edinburgh confirms that the only everyday inconvenience that the owner of a spayed bitch avoids is periodic estrus; aggressiveness (in particular. aggressiveness of dominance) in spayed bitches may even increase.
Another work. a joint study of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Pennsylvania. confirmed that, even if we exclude from the analysis those animals that showed aggressiveness even before castration, the methods of mathematical analysis still reveal a higher degree of aggressiveness in castrated bitches (when compared with non-castrated ) in relation to a person (or rather, to children). That is, there are reasons to assert that it was precisely castration that led to an increase in the level of aggressiveness of bitches.
There is another, very recent work devoted to the causes of aggressive behavior in dogs. This is a study by veterinarians from the University of Cordoba. According to their analysis, castration is one of the most significant factors affecting the level of aggression. over, if we are talking about bitches, then sterilization, as in all previous works, is associated precisely with an increase in the level of aggression.
Proponents of the “calming” effect of castration on a dog usually use two main arguments:
- “A neutered bitch does not whelp and does not guard puppies. therefore she is safer than unsterilized one.” But puppies are not nursed all year round; and the mother bitch shows maternal aggression mainly in the immediate vicinity of the den with the puppies. In contrast to territorial aggression and dominance aggression. the level of which increases in spayed bitches.
- “And my cat became so calm after castration!” But the notorious cat is a male, not a female. The hormonal balance of a castrated male shifts towards female sex hormones. and those, in contrast to male ones, have a calming effect (in mammals there is always a trace amount of hormones characteristic of the opposite sex; these hormones are produced by the adrenal glands). Yes, besides, a cat is not a dog: it is a representative of a completely different species, with different patterns of social behavior, for which the reasons that can lead to the manifestation of aggression do not quite coincide with those characteristic of dogs.
The most prominent symptoms of rabies are neurological disorders such as agitation and paralysis. Depending on the type of animal, the symptoms of the disease can be quite varied. In dogs, there are three different phases (stages) of the disease:
The prodromal stage, which lasts 2-4 days, but often passes completely unnoticed. During this stage of rabies, behavioral changes occur in dogs.
Arousal stage lasting from 1 to 7 days. At this stage, the disease can be diagnosed most easily. The animal becomes restless and nervous, its aggressiveness increases. At this stage, animals are extremely dangerous due to the tendency to bite. At the end of the arousal stage, convulsions and impaired coordination of the work of various muscles appear. If the dog does not die during the next attack of convulsions, the disease goes to its final stage.
The paralytic stage, at which a violation of the coordination of muscle work turns into paralysis, and a coma inevitably occurs, which ends in a lethal outcome.
Rabies is almost always transmitted through the bite of rabid animals due to the ingress of infected saliva into tissues through damaged skin. All warm-blooded animals and humans are susceptible to rabies. However, not all animals are equally susceptible to rabies virus infection. In many areas, there is one specific animal species that is the reservoir of this infection. This reservoir of infection is the most important factor in the persistence and spread of the disease.
Exciting stimuli such as slamming car doors on the street, the owner constantly looking out of the window, or an unfamiliar smell suddenly coming to the dog, induce it to be more attentive and, possibly, to be more active in an unusual way. The dog, just lying calmly, gets up. At the same time, it seems that she is very attentive and tense. The dog is looking for something, sniffs the front door, looks at the windows and closely monitors the behavior of its owner.
Such stimuli are not direct causes of the emergence or exacerbation of behavioral problems in the animal, such as the stimuli described in the following two categories. However, the likelihood and intensity of the manifestation of incorrect reactions to these stimuli, as well as the ability of the owner of the animal to prevent such reactions, can strongly depend on the state of general arousal of the animal.
Once the rabies virus enters the tissues of the body (usually through a wound from a bitten animal), it primarily multiplies in locally located muscle cells. During a period of time varying in length, the virus enters the peripheral nervous system. It slowly (several centimeters a day) moves along the nerve pathways to the spinal cord. In the spinal cord, the agent quickly spreads (possibly with the participation of cerebrospinal fluid) and reaches the medulla oblongata and brain.
After multiplying in the cells of the brain, the virus begins to move along the descending (efferent) nerve pathways of the central and peripheral parts of the nervous system, as well as along the autonomic nerves. Thus, the agent eventually infects all organs and tissues of the body, including the salivary glands. With infected saliva, the rabies virus can enter the body of another host. The virus can be in the central nervous system long before the onset of clinical signs of the disease.
If you pull on the leash, look away when meeting an aggressive dog, or scold a dog growling at a guest, you activate inhibitory stimuli that counteract activating and intensifying stimuli and allow you to reduce the intensity and duration of deviant behavior or completely eliminate it.
What can it lead to?
Dog aggression never goes unnoticed. An angry animal can seriously scare even the most inveterate lover of human four-legged friends. That is why it is necessary to understand not only the causes, but also the consequences of the behavior of a dog and a person during unreasonable attacks of an animal.
The most important thing in such a situation is the behavior of the one to whom the aggression belongs. If the one because of whom the dog lost his temper runs away, leaves, disappears from its sight, then in subsequent times the aggression will only intensify. This reaction of the dog can be determined by natural instincts. Her behavior led to the fright of someone, which means that she will begin with an even greater effort to protect herself and her place. The same will happen if the dog is forcibly taken away from the subject of his aggression.
If the stimulus of the dog’s aggression does not go away, but rather approaches, the dog will only become more frightened and begin to actively defend itself, including not only barking and grinning, but also a direct, physical attack.
Types of aggression
There are only two types of aggression in dogs. congenital and acquired. Congenital is transmitted genetically to offspring and is rather difficult to control. Most often, it is manifested by street, fighting or guard animals. If desired, the behavior of such dogs can be corrected. For this, they undergo special training, their condition is corrected, and the pet can become almost unrecognizable. But this is a long and difficult process.
Acquired aggression appears for some reason. Dogs, like humans, can succumb to fears. They also experience physical or psychological pain. This and many other reasons, which will be discussed below, lead to the aggression of the pet. It can be spontaneous, unplanned and seemingly nowhere to come from.
Often the owners are so scared that they can even put the animal to sleep or kick it out of the house. But, as a rule, the acquired aggression is treated, and the dog can become the same again. You just need to understand the reason and solve it.
What to do if your dog becomes aggressive?
Dogs are quite peaceful animals. Sentinels, fighting, service all of them have aggression in character, but they show it only in certain cases, when it is required. The rest of the time they are quite peaceful and do not harm without reason. But in some cases, the dog can get out of control.
At first glance, unreasonable aggression can harbor serious psychological, physical trauma, misunderstandings or discontent. The reasons for the dog’s aggression, as well as how to deal with it, will be described below in the article.
Causes of aggression
The cause of congenital aggression is genes. So there is nothing left but to try and improve the situation with upbringing. But there are others, as a rule, these are temporary reasons leading to acquired aggression.
- Fright. If the pet is frightened, then this is a natural defensive reaction for him to save his skin. This is normal and quite predictable.
- Disease. In some cases, animals use this method to protect themselves from people when they are in pain. Only some can patiently wait for help, others are afraid of it. Therefore, if it hurts the dog, he may well bared his teeth, bark or even bite the hand that hurt him.
- Competition for the best place, territory is observed when there are several dogs or animals in the house. They just share living space, which is why aggression appears.
- Maternal aggression is always directed against a person. When the dog has given birth, it can be very dangerous to approach the puppies. Some breeds actually hide puppies from people until they get stronger.
- Sometimes pets become uncontrollable due to lack of comfort. The lack of elementary norms of life can play a cruel joke with them. Poor quality food, lack of personal space or space, cold, dampness are very harmful for these animals.
In the case of an animal that occasionally shows aggression, you should always be on the lookout. It is advisable not to take situations to an extreme, but simply to prevent them. If there is a risk that the animal will be nervous, it is worth taking it out of the house, choosing a different route of walking, or not taking the pet to a meeting with certain people. That is, look ahead and anticipate situations.
An aggressive animal must be controlled at all times. For this, as a rule, are used:
- Sled with a leash.
Some breeders use a cage. But if the dog is not used to it and does not know how to sit in it, then this will become additional stress for it. So you can use it only for those dogs that are familiar with them from childhood.
Thus, we can conclude that the only way to help a dog with aggression is to keep him from unwanted behavior. The owner should keep the dog on a leash and take it aside, you can try to redirect his attention to a toy or something else, entertaining. This method is used for walks. At home, you can try to isolate the dog from the subject of aggression.
Methods of dealing with aggression
If the dog was or suddenly became aggressive, the first thing to do is to contact a specialist (veterinarian, zoopsychologist or dog handler). They will help determine the cause of this behavior and prescribe appropriate treatment.
- Socialization. It is not just that, from puppyhood, dogs are taken out to walk in large parks, introduced to other people and animals. This allows the pet to socialize, accept the big world, see its versatility. If the animal grew up in a cage, other creatures will scare him, and he may begin to show aggression towards them.
- Training. If it did not work out to avoid the mistakes of the past and the dog is aggressive, you can gradually begin to accustom him to other people and animals. This is done through acquaintance with new smells, objects, short meetings, communication through a wall, a grid, getting used to someone else’s voice, games, and so on. In some cases, it is impossible to cope on your own. Then you need to find a cynologist experienced in such matters, who will help correct the situation.
- Medical treatment is needed to relieve the animal’s physical pain. Aggression in the presence of pain is a common cause. Not all dogs tolerate her with sad eyes, many try to protect themselves from an invisible enemy.
- Dividing the territory according to the needs of animals will avoid their skirmishes and aggressive attacks.
- Increased attention to the animal will allow the owner to protect him from fears, improve the quality of life, and adjust his mood in his favor. This method helps if the dog is scared, it lacks attention, communication, comfort.
What to do if your dog becomes aggressive towards you
Aggression of a dog can manifest itself in different ways: disobedience to the commands you give, growling, attempts to bite, and so on. It would seem, what could be the essence of such behavior, because you are doing everything to make your pet happy, well fed and satisfied? Most often, the owner’s reaction to such manifestations of the dog’s character is anger and surprise. We begin to snarl at the animal ourselves, trying to show him where his place is, however, is this approach correct? There is a reason for this aggression, and you are the reason. It is you who once missed some moments of correct upbringing of the animal, because of which she feels dominant over you.
Fortunately, the dog’s aggression and desire to dominate the family can be remedied. In order for your pet to become obedient and kind again, you will have to pull yourself together and show unprecedented patience. There is nothing wrong with the fact that you once made a mistake, indulging all the desires of your beloved friend. Especially such mistakes are typical for novice breeders who do not quite understand the basic principles of caring for a dog, regardless of its breed. And the manifestation of dominance is characteristic, rather, of temperamental individuals who belong to expensive, purebred breeds. So what to do if your dog has become aggressive towards you or your family?
The first step that must be followed when re-educating an animal is the conviction that the aggression is not caused by any other reasons, such as pain or malaise. The animal can show anger towards the owner if he worries about the animal’s illness. Dogs by their nature are not prone to the manifestation of malaise, because in the wild this can be used and beaten. Therefore, you will have to be diligent in this matter. If suddenly the dog is really bad, you need to immediately take it to the veterinarian, who will do everything to ensure that the pet recovers. If the treatment helps, and the dog respects you again, then the whole thing was only in the manifestation of sores.
If the dog still tries to dominate you, this is due to the fact that they still remain gregarious animals. But the human family is now becoming a flock, where you, as the main owner, take the place of the leader. It is customary to obey the leader, but especially courageous individuals may try to take that very place, desiring “rule” in their flock. How does a dog begin to show dominance? It all starts with the fact that the pet does not respond to your call, can ignore you with a glance, disobey. This is all in preparation for more serious clashes, for which you should be prepared. It is much better to avoid open aggression of the dog towards you.
The dog must have a clear place to sleep, so start training the “place” command, there are a lot of strategies for learning on the Internet. Growling? There is a problem with dominance. The suppression of growling is not done by beating or shouting. Look your dog in the eye and repeat the commands in a confident, loud enough voice over and over again. Throwing at guests? Learn the command “fu!”, Which allows you to discipline the animal, make it more obedient. Only by perseverance, prohibitions and perseverance will you show the animal who is the real leader in the house.
In order to prevent such situations, immediately try to educate the puppy so that he respects you. Be moderately affectionate and moderately firm in your requests. Teams are best nurtured and taught from 2 months of age.
Types and causes of canine aggression
Genetic belligerence is seen predominantly in fighting / guard breeds and is difficult to correct.
It is interesting! Various (both psychological and physiological) factors become catalysts for acquired aggression.
It’s great if you can find the root of the problem and then deal with it yourself. Otherwise, you will have to go for advice from a veterinarian, an experienced dog handler or canine psychologist.
According to dog handlers, this type of aggressive behavior is nothing more than a mental disorder transmitted by genes or resulting from improper upbringing.
It is easy to confuse intraspecific aggression with sexual aggression, as often the male attacks the male, and the bitch attacks the female. But, in reality, the demonstration of superiority over relatives has no gender connotation: a dog can bully a bitch and vice versa.
The tetrapod tries to establish its superiority over the household, entering the time of puberty. The mood of the dog jumps, moving from aggression to timidity, as well as from isolation to unrestrained sociability. Attempts to dominate are often accompanied by jealousy: the dog is offended and angry when the owner turns his attention to other family members (including small children) and pets.
It occurs as a consequence of such inevitable physiological phenomena as estrus in bitches and rutting in males. During this period, sexually anxious dogs are more energized and tense than ever.
It is interesting! Castration and sterilization are designed to remove hormonal surges. Nevertheless, according to doctors, the smoothing of aggression occurs faster in males (in 3-4 months).
In females, the habituation to the new status is delayed: after sterilization, they become angrier and calm down after about a year.
It manifests itself in the protection of personal dog attributes, such as a collar, toys, rug and more. This kind of hostility occurs when a pet is unsure of its safety, does not fully trust family members, or lacks attention. Aggressive attacks are mostly directed towards domestic animals, adults and are rarely directed towards children.
This is a common form of aggressive behavior that occurs in pregnant and postpartum bitches. In this case, increased alertness and malice speak not of a quarrelsome character, but of an intention to protect their offspring. Parental aggression also occurs in males guarding a bitch with a brood. But anger (in its extreme manifestation) can also be directed at puppies, which prevent the male from covering the partner.