Dogs can be some of the best companions of animals around, bringing a lot of happiness into their owners’ lives. There are even studies out there that suggest that people who own dogs tend to live longer on average and experience less stress and more positive moods in general. However, these benefits aren’t quite as evident if you find yourself with an aggressive or badly-behaved dog.
Statistics show that millions of people are bitten by aggressive dogs every single year, and trying to teach one of these dogs right from wrong can be a real challenge. Owners of aggressive dogs often feel stressed and concerned, unsure what actions to take and what steps they should follow. This guide will offer some advice for dealing with aggressive dogs correctly.
Don’t Ignore the Issue
The first tip to follow when it comes to aggressive dogs is to not ignore the problem and hope that it will go away on its own. Dogs need guidance when it comes to how they behave and what they are and aren’t allowed to do, and if you let an aggressive dog carry on behaving aggressively, it won’t understand that this behavior is wrong.
In the worst cases, aggressive dogs that aren’t helped or trained can end up biting people and potentially causing serious injuries, and, as the owner, you will be held responsible and could find yourself needing to look for a criminal defense lawyer to argue your case in court. So don’t simply overlook the issue; face up to it and do what needs to be done to fix it.
Do Your Research
Another good tip to follow when you find yourself with an aggressive dog is to carry out some research so that you can develop a better understanding of what aggression really is and why it happens. After all, the more you know about a problem, the better prepared you’ll be to actually solve it later on.
There are many articles, guides, videos, and other online resources out there to help you learn more about dog aggression. You can discover, for example, some of the possible causes of aggression in your dog, which may include fear, stress, territorial behavior, or even pain, as well as learning more about the signs of aggression and the best ways to deal with it.
Training Is Key
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether your dog is aggressive because of past trauma, deep-rooted fears, instinctive territorial behavior, or for some other reason entirely, the only way you’re going to fix this problem is by training the behavior out of them. This can be a real challenge and will require a lot of time, effort, and personal investment, but it is possible.
The key to training aggressive dogs is to focus on positive reinforcement and rewards, rather than punishment. This means that you shouldn’t yell or act in any violent way towards your dog when it shows aggression, as this will only make the problem worse. Instead, you should reward their good behavior with treats, and try to remain calm and authoritative throughout the process, showing that the dog that you’re in control.
Seek Professional Help
You might choose to train your aggressive dog alone, but many people with these kinds of dog behavioral issues prefer to seek out the help of a professional. Fortunately, there are a lot of expert dog trainers out there who specialize in helping owners deal with aggressive dogs, and they’ll be able to come out to your home and meet with you to identify the issue and develop a training strategy.
Often, these professional trainers will be quite flexible in their approach in order to suit your specific needs, situation, and budget. If you don’t have the time or cash for full-time training, for example, they might be able to simply visit for an hour or two to witness the dog’s behavior and offer some advice, or you could arrange a couple of training sessions with them each week. Either way, make sure you compare your options and find the best dog trainer you can.
Dealing with an aggressive dog isn’t easy. These dogs can bite, snap, growl, and intimidate their owners, and there are many situations in which owners give up entirely, but if you’re committed to your canine companion and ready to work hard, you can get a much more positive outcome, and there are many stories of angry and aggressive dogs transforming into calm, docile animals after corrective training.