Having an aggressive dog around can make your home uncomfortable and even dangerous. Whether you have a dog who doesn’t get along with other pets or a dog who snarls or snaps while guarding food or other items, it’s important to get that behavior under control. Find out how to understand why your dog acts this way and what to do about it.
Find the Cause of Aggression
Certain situations can trigger aggression in dogs. One of the first steps to take when you’re working on changing your dog’s behavior is getting to the root of it. When does your dog growl or snarl? This can happen when another pet is around or when something has happened, such as someone in your home getting too close to your dog’s food dish or a favorite treat.
Keep in mind that aggression can sometimes occur when dogs sense a lot of stress in their owners. You should also bring your dog to the vet to rule out any underlying health problems that could be causing aggressive behavior, such as a condition that causes chronic pain.
Remove or Manage Causes of Aggression
Depending on what triggers aggression in your dog, you might have a simple way to eliminate this behavior. In some cases, managing a health problem or getting rid of a trigger, such as something causing fear or possessiveness, is all that is needed.
Change Your Dog’s Behavior with Training
When you can’t remove or manage causes of aggression, then you’ll need to work on changing your dog’s behavior through training. This typically involves using an approach known as counter-conditioning and desensitization to help your dog overcome aggressive responses to certain situations or triggers, such as another pet. If you’re uncomfortable trying this kind of training on your own, have a professional dog trainer help you out.
If you’re having trouble teaching your dog to behave, contact DoGone Fun. We offer individual dog training and group training for dog owners in the Chicago area, including private lessons at our facility or in your home.