One of the most common training issues that dog owners seek help with is aggression. A dog that is barking, lunging, snapping, growling, or biting can be dangerous and will strain the relationship you have with your dog.
But aggression is also an often misunderstood challenge with dogs. Knowing why your dog is behaving this way is essential in helping correct the behavior and keeping you and your dog safe.
Reasons for Dog Aggression
A dog is never aggressive out of meanness. Instead, the aggression comes from an intense emotional response that causes your dog to feel out of control in a situation, and the aggression is your dog’s attempt to gain control. The most frequent causes of aggression are:
- Fear – If your dog is frightened, he may be more likely to lash out in an effort to protect himself. He will also be more sensitive to his environment, but less in control, leading to those risky situations.
- Possessiveness or Resource Guarding – This is when your dog tries to protect his food, bed, toys, or a family member from people or other dogs that get too close.
- Frustration – When your dog wants something that he cannot get to, such as when he is in your backyard and another dog passes on the other side of the fence, your dog may bark and lunge to express frustration.
- Showing Dominance – This is a rare cause of aggression that happens when your dog is trying to establish his control and is most often directed towards other dogs.
- Pain – When your dog is hurt, he may respond by snapping or starting to growl. An injury is most likely the cause if your dog is suddenly showing aggression, but never has before.
An aggressive dog may experience one or more of these types of aggression when confronted with a trigger, and understanding the cause of anxiety is the best way to get started with fixing it. Once you can rule out a health related cause, starting to work with a professional trainer is usually the next step.
A professional trainer is the best choice whenever you have a reactive dog since there are some risks involved with a dog that is reactive. Marc Goldberg, a professional dog trainer for aggressive dogs, brings an innate understanding of dog behavior to the training process and uses virtual sessions with dogs owners to help minimize, and eventually eliminate, aggression. Learn more about our training methods by contacting us todday.