Dog aggression can become serious if allowed to go on for to long. Read this story about John and if anything sounds familiar to you, please begin to take some action right away.
John had had his mixed breed dog for about six years, and never had any problems with him. One day, he started growling at John’s wife. This had never happened before, so both assumed he was just playing.
The dog growled at her a few more times over the next several days. Each time, John would firmly say “NO” and the dog would retreat. Then, while John’s wife was putting food in the dog’s bowl, he lunged at her, biting her in the arm.
John had no choice but to have the dog put down, but this sad ending could have been avoided had the signs of aggression not been ignored.
Of course, John and his wife will never know what caused the sudden aggression in their dog that they had loved for so many years. What they did learn, however, was that had they immediately brought in an expert at the first sign of dog aggression, they may have been able to stop the attack from ever happening.
The first step is, naturally, to learn to recognize signs of dog aggression. John never should have assumed that his dog was just playing when he was growling at his wife. Below are just three examples of signs of dog aggression that should never be ignored.
- Growling – of course some type of a growling sound does take place during play, but you must learn to recognize the difference between that sound and aggressive growling.
- Blocking Your Way – Many people do not realize that when your dog blocks your from where you are trying to go that that can be a sign of aggression.
- Curling His Lip – When your dog curls his lip up or bares his teeth, they are two signs of aggression that must not be ignored.
Some dogs may show aggression at random times. Others will only be aggressive during feeding time. Some will show aggression to all people, while some will only be aggressive to strangers. Others will not show aggression toward people, but may be aggressive to other animals.
ALL signs of aggression – whether toward people or animals – MUST be addressed right away. By bringing in a professional trainer who has experience with training aggressive dogs, he may be able to rid your dog of the aggressive behavior completely.
Often, it is just a matter of proper training or retraining. The good news is that most dogs CAN be brought into submission and go on to make wonderful pets. There are some, however, that may not be able to be retrained and you will have to make a decision about how to handle that situation should it apply to your dog.
Some think that it is a good thing to have an aggressive dog, and that if the dog is trained to NOT be aggressive that he will not protect his owners. That is not true. The instinct to protect his humans is not related to aggressive behavior. In fact, the more submissive your dog is to you, the better guard dog and protector he can make.
Some people ignore the problem of dog aggression, thinking and hoping that it will go away on its own. That rarely happens, and thinking that it will and doing nothing can have tragic consequences, for both you and for your dog.