Can an aggressive dog be trained? When dogs display aggression, you may feel on edge, uncomfortable, and scared. For different reasons, your happy, loving dog may become a threat to other people, dogs – or even to you.
Can An Aggressive Dog Be Trained The Simple Answer
Yes, an aggressive dog can be trained if one understands the underlying root cause of the dogs aggression.
Know The “Warning” Signs
So your wondering can an aggressive dog be trained? Before we answer that, it’s essential to understand why your dog is behaving aggressively to tackle the root cause of your dog’s aggression.
Aggression in dogs is presented in different forms, so it’s essential to know your dog’s “warning” signs, recognize potential reasons for aggression, and train your dog appropriately to prevent a warning from becoming an attack.
Identify the Warning Signs
A dog may display aggression in numerous ways:
* barking, snarling and husky growling
* intense wide eyes
* showing teeth
* standing tall and rigid
* lunging forward
* upright ears
* Raised Hackles
The list above are behaviors used to communicate to a human or animal “back off,” “I’m feeling uneasy,” and are essentially signs that your dog is about to bite!
Keep in mind that aggressive responses vary from minor to severe depending on how your dog perceives something. Your dog may start with a small display of aggression and gradually escalate its aggressive reaction.
For instance, if your dog feels uncomfortable, your dog may begin barking to create space from what’s making your dog feel uncomfortable. If that doesn’t work, your dog will then growl, and then if nothing else worked, showing teeth and biting will follow.
Aggressive responses, of course, vary from dog to dog; some dogs go straight towards trying to bite, but many display the warning signs listed above.
Understanding these warning signs is critical in answering can an aggressive dog be trained.
Recognize the Underlying Cause
There are several reasons why your dog may be acting aggressively. Dogs also exhibit several different types of aggressive behavior.
Below is a shortlist of different types of aggression:
Territorial, Resource Guarding, or Possessive
If your dog is demonstrating territorial aggression, it will protect what it considers to be its property. Your dog may be protective of certain areas in your home, their toys, food, or anything else they claim.
Protective, Fearful, or Defensive
Your dog may sense a threat that it wants to protect itself from. This type of aggression is rooted in fear and insecurity. Although we may not view any reason for concern from your dog’s perspective, the fear they are feeling is genuine.
If your dog has suffered an injury, it may be sensitive to touch. It’s best to have your dog seen by a veterinarian so they may be treated without injuring themselves further or acting violently towards you.
Pain-induced aggression is more a reflex response from your dog. Your dog may not want to act aggressively but reflexively responds that way due to pain.
Think about that time you stumped your toe. You have a normal reflexive response to pain, and the same is true for dogs.
Frustration-based aggression occurs because your dog is restrained from something it wants access to but can’t.
The easiest way to see this in action is when dogs are barking through the fence or on walks. Often, frustrations-based aggression starts with the dog just wanting to interact with another dog or person and not being able to.
With enough repetition instead of barking because your dog wants to get to the person or dog, your dog now begins to get classically conditioned to feel frustrated at the sight of a person or dog
In social situations where there is more than one dog present, the dogs may be aggressive toward one another in an attempt to claim leadership and settle disputes.
Other Forms OF Aggression
There are other potential environmental causes for hostility from your dog, including learned aggression – such as when they notice a pattern of getting what they want with specific behavior.
Redirected aggression involves your dog becoming behaving aggressive towards something else happening – such as a person walking a dog, and because your dog isn’t able to aggress towards the person with the dog, your dog then directs their aggression to something near them
Some dogs are intentionally bred to be aggressive, while others act aggressively in response to triggers in their environment due to their past experiences.
Environmental factors aside, studies have shown that certain breeds are genetically predisposed to aggression. Yes, genetics play a significant role!
If a dog comes from an aggressive lineage, it’s not uncommon for that dog to display aggressive tendencies.
When answering can an aggressive dog be trained pay close attention to the underlying reason for your dogs aggression.
How to Train an Aggressive Dog
Identifying the warning signs and causes of your dog’s aggression is key to understanding can an aggressive dog be trained and important for getting training catered to their specific needs. It’s notable that while there is often much that can be done at home, it’s always best to get direct help. Contact us here or give us a call for assistance with training your dog!
Ask yourself: ‘What is the goal of my dog’s aggression?’
In conjunction with home and our professional training, adjustments will likely need to be made in your dog’s environment and routine. Changes should be made slowly and progressively so that we set your dog to succeed.
Aggression from your dog should not be ignored; it is unpleasant, scary, and stressful for you and your dog.
Please do not delay addressing your dog’s aggression; it can be dangerous to you, your dog, and others.
Remember, behaviors in dogs don’t go away with time they only get stringer the more your dog rehearses them.
Establishing a clear communication system with your dog is critical in addressing any issue you may be experiencing.
Don’t forget to show your dog lots of love. They should feel safe with you and in their environment. It will take a lot of patience, but you can be successful in helping your dog be the best version it can be.
Receive your free dog training consultation and set your pup up for success!