It can be embarrassing for you as a dog parent if your pet is aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs. Some owners may feel a little aggression, and barking is okay, but it’s not always true. The aggression showcased by your dog can be a deep-rooted problem resulting because of its genetics or learning factor. If not stopped early, aggressive behavior may become more dangerous such as biting. Hence, you need to ensure that you have taken all the important measures and steps to stop this behaviour from culminating in your dog. We come up with the symptoms and tips for how to stop dog aggression towards other dogs.
What Is Dog Aggression?
The term ‘aggression’ can be widely used for various behaviors. Almost every wild animal out there is aggressive in protecting their territory, off-springs, or themselves. Species like dogs too use aggression to maintain their presence in a group, negotiate, and keep a peace in social interactions. Therefore, calling a dog ‘aggressive’ can mean many things. It might start from a bit of growl as a warning to aggressive barking and biting if not adhered to the warning. But a dog can easily abort the aggression at any point when triggered.
Why is My Dog Aggressive Towards Other Dogs? Reasons for Behaviour
The reason behind why is my dog being aggressive all of a sudden may vary from case to case. As a pet parent you must know the cause to and what to do with an aggressive dog, in terms of treatment and care. However, some of the most common reasons are cited below:
- The dog might behave aggressively because of past experiences, such as abuse and neglect. If your dog is adopted, try to find out about his past family, and you will be able to diagnose a reason behind his aggression and take the proper steps.
- Lack of socializing can also be another triggering factor for your dog to become aggressive. It may not have interacted with other dogs, or some past traumatic experience with another dog might have been.
- A widespread reason behind dog aggression is their past. Your dog might be a rescue from dog-fight operations, and hence it is naturally triggered to fight and be aggressive towards any dog it meets.
- You might be responsible too for culminating aggression in your dog due to fear as a pet parent. If an owner punishes the dominating dog and shows more love and compassion towards the weaker dog, it may result in aggression.
- Another reason can be a dog’s need to protect its territory, leadership in the pack, or some medical condition.
Types Of Dog Aggression
Similar to causes, there can be several types of aggression in dogs. Some of it is because of over possessiveness, fear, or even territorial issues. The most common type of aggression in dogs have been listed below:
#1 Territorial Aggression
The dog protects its space from outside influence or any intruder in this type of aggression. That intruder can be you, an outsider, or even a dog.
#2 Protective Aggression
This type of aggression usually is seen in dogs living together in a pack. Mother dogs can become very protective of their off-springs and hence show aggression. Or it can be the dominant dog trying to protect the members in its pack from attack.
#3 Possessive Aggression
The dog might feel protective towards its owner, family, or even its belongings such as chew toys, bones, or any other object that holds some value to it. Therefore, if threatened by a dog snatching his toys away, he will become aggressive.
#4 Fear Aggression
It results from lack of attention or too much showcase of discipline by its owner. The dog may become fearful and retreat into space but become aggressive when cornered.
#5 Defensive Aggression
It is very similar to fear aggression. The only difference is that before becoming aggressive, the dog gives a subtle warning to its opponent that they want to be alone. They will turn their head away, but they will bite in aggression if the other dog doesn’t retreat.
#6 Social Aggression
It can result because of a lack of socializing. If a dog is raised in a strict environment and is not allowed to socialize often with other dogs, they may become aggressive when put in a similar situation.
#7 Frustration Aggression
If you tend to keep your dog chained up or leashed in the backyard, it may cause him to become agitated and frustrated. This is because if the dog wants to respond to an external stimulus but is chained up and restricted to act out. It may also nip its owner with excitement before going for a walk.
#8 Redirected Aggression
This aggression may not be directed towards you, but it may happen if you try to break up a dog fight. The dog will redirect its aggression towards you in the way of asking you to back off.
#9 Pain-elicited Aggression
The dog might become aggressive when it is in pain or has some chronic medical condition causing him internal pain.
#10 Sex-Related Aggression
When one female dog and two male dogs are left in a group or vice versa, it may result in aggressive behavior between the two male dogs or two female dogs to grab its mate’s attention. This behavior can be easily controlled by neutering the dogs.
#11 Predatory Aggression
This type of aggression is seen only in a few dogs with predatory instincts. The dog may love to chase the wild. Something which may seem fun can become dangerous if it’s playing chase with a child. The dog may tend to nip or bite the child as it may think the child to be its prey.
Dog Aggression Symptoms
Tracking down how to stop food aggression in dogs towards other dogs or people can be very important in understanding if your dog is showing symptoms of aggression. Some of the warning signs of dogs aggressive behaviour have been listed below:
- Slow growling and snapping.
- Your pet dog’s body becomes rigid, and it wags its tail rapidly.
- Too much yawning.
- Licking of lips.
- Avoiding gaze with you.
- You may also notice raised fur quite often on it.
- Cowering when triggered or tucking its tail.
- You will also be able to see the whites of his eyes.
Another critical point is that not all dogs who show these symptoms are aggressive. These symptoms may also result when it is feeling fearful or anxious.
Diagnosing Aggression In Dogs
As there are so many different types of aggression in dogs, it is evident that the diagnosis of aggression too will be different for each case. Hence, getting an overview of diagnosing methods will help you quickly identify the root problem.
- If you start noticing fearful postures in your dog, such as crouching or tucking its tail between his legs, hiding in corners, sudden jumps, etc., this might be a start of fear aggression. The dog will try to growl or snap at you when cornered.
- If your dog loves to play and is becoming too aggressively involved in it, then it may be play-related aggression. Moreover it can lead to injuries caused to you or your child playing with it. In order to avoid this, you can try indestructible dog toys for aggressive chewers from Amazon.
- To diagnose possessive aggression, all you have to do is snatch your dog’s favorite toy and watch its reaction to it. If he growls and nips at you, this means he is showing possessive aggression.
- Protective or territorial aggression can also be easily diagnosed if you have a new puppy around the house. If your dog is not responding well to the puppy invading its space or any external dog coming to his house, that means your dog is unwilling to share his territory. The dog might start biting to get the other dog away from its space if needed.
- Predatory aggression can be diagnosed when you are out for a walk with your dog. If you notice your dog chasing and biting other dogs when caught or chasing the wild aggressively – it means your dog has predatory instinct and needs to be controlled.
- The most difficult to diagnose will be pain-induced aggression. But if you are an attentive pet parent, you will see the symptoms within a few days. If there are no external stimuli that trigger your dog. However he still shows sudden aggression or yelps in pain, that means he might be suffering from some injury or has a medical condition that needs to be treated.
How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Other Dogs?
Now that you have quickly found out the root cause of aggression in your dog, you can rectify it by following some simple steps about how to get dogs to get along guided below.
The first step of how to stop aggression in dogs? being calm is primary thing you need to follow. If your dog shows aggressive behavior towards you, it is natural to become angry and shout at it. But it would help if you refrained from doing that. Try to remain calm, as shouting will only make the dog more aggressive. Gently pull it back and hold on to it firmly till it stops.
Block their View
In case your dog is showing aggression towards other dogs, the best solution will be to block his view of the dog. It is likely to become less aggressive if it doesn’t see the dog itself. Try to move your dog away or stand between two dogs to block its view.
Neutral Meeting Experience
If your dog is being aggressive towards other dogs because of past experiences or lack of socializing. So you need to create a friendly environment to meet other dogs. Start by letting your dog be in the presence of one dog. Do not initiate play or catch but let it sniff the other dog and judge itself. Once it becomes friendly and no longer sees the other dog as a threat, you can introduce it to more dogs.
Entertaining Your Dog
Some dogs also tend to become aggressive when kept leashed for too long or are not actively involved in some activity. Hence, make sure that you keep taking your dog out for walks and playtimes. This will keep him away from becoming frustrated and bored.
Just like everything else, training a dog to become less aggressive will take a lot of time and effort. Patience will be your only guide here. If training your dog at home is not enough, you need to seek some professional help from a dog trainer or even take it to visit a veterinarian. The possible reason behind its lack of response towards aggressive dog training may be some underlying medical condition.