Dog Aggression Tips

Understand the cause of your dog's aggression and keep everyone safe at all times.

Aggression may be caused by pain, resource limitation, perceived threats and lots more.

Keep your dog out of likely aggressive situations and seek help from a behaviour professional.

Causes of dog aggression

There are many reasons that dogs may be aggressive including:

Negative experiences
Some dogs may be aggressive because of negative experiences in the past. Often these traumatising events have occurred during puppyhood and the dog reacts with aggression.

Pain and illness
Medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, neurological problems, brain tumours and seizures can all be responsible for aggressive behaviour in dogs. These are impossible to diagnose at home, so must be ruled out at your vet clinic prior to any behavioural therapy taking place.

Limited resources
When resources are in short supply, demand increases. Dogs tend to value resources that they need to survive. Resources such as food, shelter and companionship are very valuable commodities and some dogs may try to guard them.

Redirected aggression
A common cause of injury in canine aggression situations is redirected aggression, where the object of the dog’s aggression is not the intended recipient. Aggression is often redirected towards owners when a dog fight is interrupted.


Solutions for canine aggression

Understand the cause of your dog's aggression to find a solution.
Stay safe
Keep all people and animals, that your dog comes into contact with, safe. Using a collar and a lead may be the simplest solution to dog bite prevention.
Never to offer a challenge to a potentially aggressive dog. A challenge can be something as simple as making eye contact. Crossing the street and/or turning and walking in the opposite direction may also help with dogs that are dog aggressive.
Anti-aggression devices such as a muzzle will not solve an aggression problem but they will prevent a dog bite happening so may be useful in the short term.

Vet check
It is wise to have a vet check on a dog that has become aggressive. There are many medical conditions that can cause this behaviour and these should be discussed with your vet.

Long-term solutions
Treatment for canine aggression includes de-sensitising your dog to the object of their aggression. This is not without danger so must be done with extreme care. Training and leadership by the owner is also extremely important. 
Solutions for aggressive dogs are given in Dr Jo's ebook Dog Aggression Problems Solved.

Dog Aggression Problems Solved Ebook

More canine behaviours


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Does your dog dislike other dogs or people or guard items.
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House training

Does your dog have toileting issues?
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Destructive behaviour

Does your dog dig or chew?
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Annoying behaviours

Does your dog jump up on people or pull on the lead?
Train your dog...

Licking behaviour

Does your dog lick themselves excessively or perhaps lick you? Stop the licking.

Eating issues

Is your dog a fussy eater? Or perhaps the opposite!

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