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Understanding and Managing Dog Aggression


Dog aggression is a common behavior problem that some pet owners may grapple with. Understanding its causes and how to manage it effectively is critical in promoting a calm and peaceful co-existence. Aggression in dogs results from a variety of reasons ranging from fear, dominance, territorialism, to negative past experiences. In most instances, resolving this problem requires a careful understanding of your dog’s behavior patterns, an assessment of potential triggers, and the creation of a comprehensive management plan.

Causes of Dog Aggression

Dog aggression is not a behavior that dogs develop out of the blue. Various triggers can cause a dog to become aggressive. Some of the common causes include:

  1. Protective aggression: When dogs feel that their owners or their home is under threat, they are likely to become aggressive as a natural protective instinct.
  2. Pain-induced aggression: Dogs suffering from pain or discomfort often resort to aggression as a defensive mechanism.
  3. Prey drive aggression: This form of aggression usually occurs when a dog perceives smaller animals or even moving objects as prey.

Signs of Dog Aggression

The typical signs of aggression in dogs are mostly physical and easily noticeable. They include barking, growling, biting, and lunging. Here are further examples:

  1. Whites of the eyes are visible
  2. Panting or shaking
  3. Focused or fixated on a certain object or individual

Training Your Dog to Curb Aggression

In managing aggression, training your dog is a vital step. This not only helps curb aggressive behavior, but also strengthens your bond with your pet:

  • Consult a professional: Seeking help from a certified dog behaviorist can help immensely in dealing with aggression issues. They can provide you with personalized training plans and guidance.
  • Socialization: Exposure to various environments, animals, and people helps the dog understand acceptable behavior. It also reduces fear.
  • Rewards: Rewarding your dog for calm behavior can be a great way to discourage aggression. Use treats, toys, and praises to reinforce good behavior.

FAQs on Dog Aggression

  1. Can aggressive dogs be cured?
    Cure is a strong word when dealing with aggression in dogs. However, with the right management and training techniques, the aggressive behavior can be significantly reduced.
  2. Is dog aggression usually due to the owner’sbehavior?
    No, not necessarily. Though improper handling can contribute to aggressive behavior, other factors, including the dog’s past traumas, medical conditions, and natural instincts, can also prompt aggression. The good news is when you bring a young puppy home from Furrylicious® they are basically blank slates with no past trauma or issues, and have already been put on a path of great socialization from a very young age.


Managing dog aggression can be challenging, but with patience, consistency, and the right approach, it is a problem that can be effectively dealt with. Remember, every dog, whether Furrylicious or not, is unique. They have different triggers and therefore require different management techniques and may require professional training (we encourage all new pet owners to seek an experienced professional for even basic obedience and puppy training). Understand your dog, identify the root cause of their aggression and take appropriate measures to manage it effectively.