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What to do if your dog is aggressive

What are the signs of aggression?

There are a wide variety of behavioural issues that fall under the umbrella of 'aggressive dog behaviour'. Your dog might exhibit some or all of the following signs:

  • Raised hackles
  • Pricked ears
  • Staring
  • Showing teeth
  • Growling
  • Lunging
  • Pulling on the lead
  • Low range barking
  • Biting These behaviours may be directed towards humans, or your dog may be aggressive towards other dogs or animals. It can be very distressing for the owner and the dog too.

What causes aggressive dog behaviour?

The reason behind dog aggression often stems from the following:

  • Fear
  • Possessiveness
  • Show of dominance
  • Illness
  • Frustration/boredom

It’s important to understand why your dog is acting aggressively, and what is triggering this behaviour. Most dog breeds are happy in a pack, and happy to know their place in that pack. They need to be at the bottom of the family heirarchy, rather than thinking they are 'top dog' and must always protect the family.

How do you calm an aggressive dog?

Changing an aggressive dog’s behaviour requires training and dedication. In this health video Dr Scott implements positive reinforcement training to help ward off Flora’s fear of dogs and thus her aggression. However, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for dog aggression. See your local vet or talk to our vets via the Vet Services page. Our vets can create a treatment plan for your dog and recommended products to help soothe and retrain your dog.

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